Painless implementation of electronic rostering presents many challenges!
Our latest new client advocates strongly that you begin by working alongside your doctors, nurses and non-medics (we can roster anyone!) to identify what will benefit them and make their working experience easier. A distinct reluctance to change is, understandably with so much to do every day, often the culture in many organisations. Therefore, it is crucial to engage with the right people from the beginning to ensure a successful implementation.
Across all our clients, we’ve tried and usually succeeded, in bringing across people who already have excellent relationships with the clinical leads and divisional ops teams. In the earliest days of planning, we often don’t know anything about how the staff work, their job plans, or the specific ways that certain service plans are used instead. Bringing in great trust staff enables us to tap into the support and guidance from an expert who knows the team best.
Our implementation leads usually come from the Medical Staffing Team, so they already knew how an e-Rostering system works. They also understood how doctors etc are deployed, how they use job plans and whatever systems that are currently in place for junior doctor rotas and exception reporting.
Adding in the help and support of our own Professor Rao (the founder and architect behind Zebra and a 30-year NHS career doctor), we are able to go from a standing start to rolling out medical and non-medical e-Rostering to an entire Division or Directorate within a matter of weeks and then to the rest of the organisation within months.
Being able to have our own in-house doctor working alongside Trust client doctors is vital to building confidence in the software and the process.
When implementing medical rostering, we deliberately don’t mention the financial savings but instead, focus on helping the client to manage their absence and to manage spiralling agency costs.
We focus on finding a solution to solve the problem; we invest team time to really listen to your clinicians and we also ensure the message explains the benefits. Even if it has to be virtual – our team will be seen and heard everywhere! We make sure we are available in key staff areas, get ourselves invited to clinical training sessions and use the staff intranet and other channels to communicate frequently.
Sometimes when we hold meetings with nurses or consultants etc, there can be concern over the visibility of working patterns and feelings of “being monitored”. By showcasing the technology, we can allay these fears by explaining how the system could provide extra support. For example, they can see which colleagues are available and how they can pick up theatre lists, and clinics or respond to an on-call request.
Building the trust of practitioners also helps to persuade business support managers and corporate staff to take on a new system. With so much work being carried out on paper, such as creating rosters and submitting timesheets, there is understandably a degree of concern that the software might replace jobs. However, the clinicians then step in to show them the technology in action and why it is necessary, helping them see how it could make their lives easier.
While we do not have a great knowledge of how the different departments work at the beginning of the process/rollout, we do have a thorough knowledge of the Zebra rostering technology and its unique interoperability/configurability across different staff groups.
Combining this knowledge with those working in the different departments and taking the time to engage thoroughly with the medics in various ways helps us deliver what we promise and roll out a system that benefits everyone involved.