Doctor checking injured piggy bank

The Secret Hole in Your Hospital Budget

Wouldn’t it be lovely if budgets were endless and the long wish list submitted every year was met with a resounding “yes” from the Hospital Board. We all know this couldn’t be further from the reality, but we can dream right. The raw hard truth is hospital budgets are fixed and each department is set for a fight each year to secure their fair share of a fixed pool of funds. So, with this being the reality, surely, we wouldn’t want any precious funds to silently slip away. We’d do something if there was a hole chewing up funds that could be better spent elsewhere.

What is that hole, where is it? Why would everyone be so careless to not notice?

Hour by hour, shift by shift, money is being overspent. The doctor who turns up clearly overworked, is put on paid break and another called to fill the spot. The roster unintentionally had an overlap with two nurses on for the same shift. A last-minute change had doctors working overtime. So, money drips away through an invisible gap without notice.

Like any budget creep, it is slow and steady, but once realised the all-too-common scenario plays out, the heads above decide to cut hours and change schedules, making an instant relief to their monetary woes. They celebrate their success in keeping to the budget, but further down the chain those on the action level are racked with stress knowing that these changes have a roll-on affect pushing staff to their limits and reducing patient care. A research study on the prevalence of burnout on Healthcare professionals by HIMSS found that “Respondents of the qualitative survey came up with a list of factors contributing to the buildup of stress, work overload and sometime burnout. Most of them are the result of decisions taken on an organisational level and others reflect decisions on a governmental level.”

The Hospital Board can blame the front-line and the front-line can blame the Board, but the blame game only causes more divide and no further to a solution. This plays out over and over, and everyone seems oblivious to the real problem. The secret hole where the budget money is seeping is through inadequate rostering and allocation.

That old clunky excel spreadsheet or inflexible rostering system you are relying on isn’t doing you any favours. Managers often spend well over 4 hours a fortnight on roster build activities without the ability to even cost out a roster. Most are based on predetermined activity levels, which cannot factor in the multifaceted nature of a real-life roster. Version control problems, lead to confusion and errors. It’s a challenging yet mundane task where human error is rife and the risks and consequences to not only the budget but more importantly the health and safety of staff and patients is, critical.

We get it. Successful healthcare means putting the right people with the right skills in the right place at the right time and we can help in ways you’ve only dreamed of. Core Schedule is made from the ground up by people who understand healthcare. With Core Schedule, your schedules are tailored for every area and every team, in one cohesive system. It easily manages complex rules and requests, so everything is clear, fair and accessible. It’s so smart it will make everyone smile (even your CEO).

Remember that dream wish-list for your budget, let’s help you get one step closer.

  • Learn More – watch webinar ‘Budget and Risk Management in Healthcare Rostering’, click HERE

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