Digital Technology for Rostering & Job Planning: Truly Transformational or Just Hype? – Part 1
Updated: Aug 3
A new set of vendors have entered the NHS workforce software market (rostering, job planning, etc) where only a small number of suppliers operated for decades. Arguably this is a triumph of NHSI’s major initiative to generate competition, higher standards and better value for the NHS. However, as each software vendor offers its unique advantages, each Trust has to sift through and find the best fit for their organisation as not all software systems are created equal. Simply staying put with your old system as well as buying a new system without looking beyond the front-end functionality, both run the risk of your Trust missing out on truly transformational benefits only the next generation technology can offer.
This article outlines how some software technologies incorporating radically different back-end architecture are disrupting the field and provide value far beyond the front-end functionality. The article also outlines why executives from finance, operations, quality, transformation, and IT should be keenly interested in workforce software, which has traditionally been the domain of HR departments. Every Trust Board should review their workforce software and what value they are receiving now, whatever their perception regarding the current level of maturity with incumbent systems.
NHS Trusts have been buying stand-alone, single-function systems, often for a single workforce group; different systems proving popular for different staff groups because of their focus on pain points unique to each group: ward-based nurses, consultants, junior doctors, estates & ancillary etc. Software vendors concentrated on application functionality (what each system is supposed to do on the face of it) and little more. While in real-life healthcare staff work in integrated multi-professional teams, closer together than ever before, in the digital dimension, they are fragmented along the lines of their professional group due to how software and its use have evolved. Rostering of anaesthesia departments is a striking example of such stand-alone solutions. All the while elsewhere, the world has discovered the revolutionary benefits of joined-up systems…