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Posted by Sarah Ramsey

  • May 17, 2024

The Importance of Agile in the RosterOps Framework

Many organizations in the healthcare industry face a number of challenges in managing their clinical workforces effectively. From ensuring optimal staffing levels to maintaining high-quality patient care, the complexities of workforce management can be overwhelming. This is where the RosterOps framework comes into play, providing a comprehensive approach to streamlining and optimizing workforce operations.

 

However, implementing RosterOps is not a one-time event. Instead, it requires a continuous improvement mindset and the ability to adapt to changing circumstances. This is where Agile methodologies become crucial. Incorporating Agile principles into the RosterOps framework empowers healthcare organizations to foster collaboration, flexibility, and data-driven decision-making. As a result, they are better equipped to respond swiftly to the dynamic needs of their workforce and ultimately their patients.

 

Below, we’ll explore the importance of Agile in the RosterOps framework and how it can help healthcare organizations and staffing agencies overcome common workforce management challenges.

 

What is Agile Methodology?

Originating in the early 2000s within the software industry, Agile Methodology empowers teams to constantly improve by fostering collaboration. The principles of Agile are also applicable to the workforce management methodology of RosterOps as well.

 

Agile is a dynamic approach to project management, emphasizing collaboration, stakeholder input, and constant improvement. Within the agile framework, initial planning and design occur, but processes are improved incrementally, fostering stakeholder engagement at every step. Changes are seamlessly integrated, often resulting in greater efficiency, better quality outcomes and happier teams. This agility offers numerous advantages, notably the ability to avoid errors, keeping teams aligned on goals and ensuring governance and controls are working effectively.

 

Current Challenges RosterOps Teams Face

We talk to RosterOps teams every day facing challenges around onboarding, scheduling and paying complex clinician teams. Here are the few most common challenges they share with us:

    1. Efficiency problems and missed deadlines. It takes a village to get a clinician to work a single shift across recruiting, credentialing, privileging, enrollment, finance, legal and ops. If a central team is not monitoring the subtasks it takes to hit the start date, it is easy to miss a privileging meeting. In the worst cases, that could mean it will be another four weeks or more until someone can start seeing patients on the schedule.
    2. Disconnected teams and data. Teams that do not have a shared project management system for tracking tasks, assignees and statuses can feel like they are flying blind when it comes to knowing what is going on with their roster of clinicians. We talked to one operator who said it can take six phone calls to figure out if someone is tracking to hit their start date.
    3. Reactive rather than proactive management. Fluctuating patient demands, if not managed effectively, can present as workforce shortages. This can often lead to higher labor spend from administrators who need to fill the gaps quickly.
    4. Lack of process/governance to approval controls. There must be technology in place or a formal workflow of approvals when it comes to processes like candidate selection, onboarding, scheduling and time/pay approvals. Without it, it can be difficult to ensure important steps are not missed in these approval journeys.
    5. Miscellaneous Errors. Missed start dates, lapsed licenses and expirations, uncovered shifts. Most of these can be prevented with proactive monitoring, automated warnings and systems that help your teams work smarter.
    6. Team/Task Balancing and Management. Without a shared platform it can be difficult to know which credentials are performing and which aren’t. It can also be difficult to manage workloads across your teams without visibility into current task lists and productivity.
    7. Missing the marks on budget. From payroll errors to increased labor spend, when things aren’t moving efficiently, it’s difficult for administrators to meet their budgets.

Of course these challenges barely scratch the surface of what healthcare administrative teams face on a monthly, if not daily basis. Challenges like this are why it’s so critical to adopt the RosterOps approach.

 

What is RosterOps?

Benefits-of-an-Agile-RosterOps-Process-Internal-Image-15-May-2024

RosterOps is a collaborative approach that aligns recruitment, credentialing, operations, and finance teams to efficiently deploy clinical workforces within and between healthcare organizations. It is a holistic framework that promotes cross-functional collaboration, streamlined processes, and data-driven decision-making to optimize workforce management. RosterOps aims to break down silos between departments and foster an integrated approach to delivering high-quality patient care while achieving financial targets.

 

The Core Principles of RosterOps Include:

  1. Collaboration - Teams need to collaborate. It’s imperative that teams work together to improve the RosterOps practice and achieve continuous improvements in efficiency and innovation. Collaboration between cross-functional teams can enable roster operations to become more efficient and high quality (reduce errors). It also helps to establish standardized governance and controls around workforce management.
  2. Process and Workflow Governance. Everyone takes ownership. Clearly defined processes and workflows ensure that all team members understand their roles and responsibilities in the RosterOps framework. By establishing a strong governance structure, organizations can maintain consistency, accountability, and compliance across all aspects of workforce management.
  3. People. A centralized team drives RosterOps. Having a dedicated team of professionals who specialize in RosterOps is crucial for the success of the framework. This centralized team acts as the driving force behind the implementation, optimization, and continuous improvement of RosterOps processes, ensuring that the organization's workforce management goals are met.
  4. Technology. A shared platform for shared work visibility and reporting. Leveraging a robust, healthcare-specific technology platform is essential for enabling effective RosterOps. A shared platform provides real-time visibility into workforce data, facilitates seamless collaboration among teams, and offers powerful reporting and analytics capabilities to support data-driven decision-making.
  5. Data. Decisions are driven by data and constant feedback loops from stakeholders. RosterOps relies heavily on data to inform strategic workforce planning and optimization. By continuously gathering and analyzing data from various sources, including staff feedback, performance metrics, and patient outcomes, organizations can make evidence-based decisions to improve their workforce management practices and adapt to changing needs.

The RosterOps Approach - 3 ways

 

workflow-design-thinking

 

Feedback-Loop

 

Cultural-change

 

Workflow Design Thinking

Understanding that workflows are complex systems.

Amplifying Feedback Loops

Improve bidirectional communication between teammates.

Cultural Change

Extreme visibility and agile data driven improvements.

Benefits of an Agile RosterOps Process

 

Just a few of the benefits of combining Agile and the RosterOps approach include, but aren’t limited to:

  1. More efficiency: Agile methodology emphasizes on quick releases, and DevOps emphasizes on fast and continuous delivery of software. When used together, it can help reduce the time taken to bring the software to market.
  2. Improved collaboration: Agile methodology is known for promoting collaboration and teamwork. RosterOps also emphasizes collaboration, especially between operations teams and front and back office functions. Combining both can improve communication and collaboration between all teams involved in workforce management.
  3. Enhanced flexibility: Agile RosterOps enables organizations to quickly adapt to changing workforce needs. With iterative planning and regular feedback loops, teams can adjust staffing strategies in real-time based on patient demand, staff availability, and other factors. This flexibility allows healthcare organizations to optimize resource allocation, minimize understaffing or overstaffing, and ensure the right clinicians are available when and where they're needed most.
  4. Higher quality: Agile RosterOps not only improves the quality of care delivered to patients but also enhances workforce satisfaction and engagement. By involving frontline staff in the decision-making process and soliciting their feedback regularly, organizations can create schedules and staffing plans that better align with employee preferences and work-life balance needs. This collaborative approach fosters a sense of ownership and empowerment among staff, leading to higher job satisfaction and reduced burnout.
  5. Reduced costs: Agile RosterOps can lead to significant cost savings for healthcare organizations. By optimizing staffing levels and minimizing the need for costly contingent labor, organizations can reduce labor expenses without compromising care quality. Agile practices also help identify and eliminate inefficiencies, streamline processes, and reduce administrative overhead. Furthermore, by improving staff satisfaction and retention through better work-life balance and engagement, organizations can avoid the high costs associated with turnover and recruitment.

Using the RosterOps approach can lead to faster teams, improved collaboration, enhanced flexibility, higher quality, and bottom line improvements. Overall, Agile RosterOps enables healthcare organizations to achieve more with their existing resources, leading to improved financial performance and sustainability.

 

Best Practices for Implementing RosterOps in Healthcare Organizations

Engage stakeholders and gain buy-in from frontline staff

Successful implementation of RosterOps requires active engagement and buy-in from all stakeholders, including frontline staff, department heads, and executive leadership. It is crucial to involve healthcare professionals from various disciplines in the planning and decision-making processes. Seeking their input and addressing their concerns helps organizations ensure that the RosterOps solution aligns with the unique needs and workflows of each department.

 

Customize RosterOps to align with organizational goals and workflows

Different organizations that manage a clinical workforce have diverse operational models, workflows, and organizational structures. To maximize the benefits of RosterOps, it is essential to customize the solution to align with the specific goals, processes, and workflows of the organization. This may involve configuring the software to accommodate unique scheduling requirements, integrating with existing systems and data sources, and tailoring reporting and analytics to address the organization's key performance indicators (KPIs).

 

Continuously evaluate and refine processes based on feedback and performance metrics

RosterOps is not a one-time implementation, but rather an ongoing process of continuous improvement. Healthcare organizations should regularly evaluate the effectiveness of their scheduling processes and seek feedback from staff and stakeholders. Through the analysis of performance metrics and user feedback, organizations can identify areas for refinement and optimization. This may involve adjusting scheduling algorithms, modifying workflows, or enhancing the software's capabilities through updates or integrations. Continuous evaluation and refinement ensures that the RosterOps solution remains aligned with the organization's evolving needs and contributes to sustained improvements in workforce management.

 

Why Is the Software You Choose so Critical for RosterOps Teams?

 

Why-Is-the-Software-You-Choose-so-Critical-for-RosterOps-Teams-Internal-Image-15-May-2024

 

Choosing the right software is essential for RosterOps teams to successfully implement Agile methodologies and optimize workforce management. The software should enable seamless collaboration, support data-driven decision-making, enhance flexibility, streamline processes, ensure compliance, and promote scalability.

 

Investing in a robust, healthcare-specific solution can significantly impact your team's ability to drive meaningful improvements in workforce management and patient care delivery. The right software will serve as a foundation for your Agile RosterOps implementation, empowering your team to work more efficiently, make informed decisions, and adapt to changing needs.

 

To fully leverage the benefits of Agile RosterOps, it's crucial to select software that offers key features and functionalities tailored to the unique needs of healthcare workforce management. What should you be looking for when evaluating RosterOps-driven software solutions?

 

Key features and functionalities of a RosterOps-driven software

RosterOps is facilitated by a comprehensive workforce management software platform, such as Kimedics, that offers a range of features and functionalities to support the entire clinical workforce lifecycle. These include:

  1. Roster management: Track and manage rosters for full-time, part-time, and locum clinicians across multiple locations and specialties.
  2. Credentialing and privileging: Streamline the credentialing process, track expiration dates, and ensure that clinicians are properly credentialed and privileged for their scheduled shifts.
  3. Intelligent scheduling: Optimize schedules based on clinician availability, skills, and preferences, while considering patient demand and organizational needs.
  4. Time tracking and payroll automation: Automate time tracking, payroll calculations, and invoicing processes, reducing errors and saving administrative time.
  5. Rate management: Manage complex rate structures, differentials, and compensation models for various labor types and shift activities.
  6. Analytics and reporting: Gain insights into workforce performance, productivity, and financial metrics through advanced analytics and customizable reporting capabilities.
  7. Collaboration and communication: Facilitate seamless collaboration and communication among internal teams, clinicians, clients, and vendors through dedicated portals and workflows.

Unlock the Power of Agile RosterOps with Kimedics

Agile methodologies have revolutionized how organizations approach project management and continuous improvement. By integrating Agile principles into the RosterOps framework, healthcare organizations and staffing agencies can unlock new levels of efficiency, collaboration, and adaptability in their workforce management processes.

 

The benefits of Agile RosterOps are clear: increased efficiency, improved collaboration, enhanced flexibility, higher quality care, and reduced costs. To fully realize these benefits, it's essential to invest in the right software solution that supports your Agile RosterOps implementation. That’s where Kimedics comes in.

 

Kimedics is the comprehensive, healthcare-specific workforce management platform that embodies the principles of Agile RosterOps. It offers features like roster management, credentialing and privileging, intelligent scheduling, time tracking and payroll automation, rate management, analytics and reporting, and seamless collaboration tools. Kimedics empowers your RosterOps team to drive meaningful improvements in workforce management and patient care delivery.

 

Don't let inefficient processes, disconnected teams, and lack of visibility hold your organization back. Embrace the power of Agile RosterOps with Kimedics and take your workforce management to the next level. Schedule a demo today to see how Kimedics can help you optimize your clinical workforce, improve patient outcomes, and achieve your financial goals. Click here to book your demo now!

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