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Major Healthcare Organization Selects Kronos® for Healthcare to Improve Scheduling and Control Labor Costs

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BJC HealthCare, one of the largest nonprofit healthcare organizations in the United States, delivers services to residents across the Greater St. Louis, southern Illinois, and mid-Missouri regions. The organization has a net revenue of $3.0 billion, 26,000 employees, 13 hospitals, and multiple community health locations. BJC provides a wide range of healthcare services, including inpatient and outpatient care, primary care, community health and wellness, workplace health, home health, community mental health, rehabilitation, long-term care, and hospice.

Escalating labor costs motivated BJC HealthCare to improve its approach to workforce management. Driven by its commitment to employee satisfaction and quality patient care, the organization kicked off a Lean Six Sigma initiative to better schedule, empower, and manage its clinical workforce. BJC's initiative, branded internally as the "MyTime" project, involved defining a new schedule-centric labor management process. It was also designed to replace the organization’s legacy timekeeping system and its combination of scheduling solutions, including purchased, internally developed, and manual processes.

"Our clinical managers came forth and said they needed a better way to schedule their workforce," says Phil Cavoretto, director of disbursement at BJC HealthCare. "We have more than 26,000 employees and over $1.4 billion in salaries, and we didn’t have a good scheduling system in place."

Enter Kronos for Healthcare. The workforce management solution helped BJC reach its goal of controlling labor costs. Attaining an efficient, schedule-driven workforce management approach. And improving employee workplace satisfaction.

Integrated schedule, timecard crucial in BJC’s decision

After a careful evaluation of available solutions, BJC selected the Kronos for Healthcare suite of integrated, web-based applications, including Workforce Scheduler, Workforce Timekeeper, Workforce Leave, Workforce Attendance, and Workforce Employee. The solution enables healthcare organizations to completely automate workforce management processes. This means real-time information for clinical managers. Reduced over- and underscheduling. And accurate paychecks for employees.

According to Tammy Dwyer, BJC's "MyTime" scheduling automation manager, the ability to integrate the schedule with the timecard was a key requirement for the new system. "We are now able to generate a schedule and have the information flow directly to the timecard and to payroll," she notes. "That way, we can get better reporting and maintain accurate paychecks for our employees."

Schedule-driven approach helps control overtime, ensure coverage

At BJC HealthCare, the employee schedule is the place where hospital operations integrate with staff labor. And this makes management of all the schedules critical for all aspects of patient care. That's why BJC’s "MyTime" solution is designed to be schedule-driven.

All planned activities and pertinent information — including shifts, job transfers, pay codes, and work rules — are put into the employee schedule, giving BJC a single location for managing, administrating, and coordinating labor across the entire system. This approach helps keep employees' pay accurate and reflects the work they were scheduled to perform. It also provides high-quality, consolidated data for key healthcare performance indicators such as "hours per patient day" and "labor per stat."

BJC's clinical employees interact with their schedules to see when and where they are working as well as their specific job assignments (e.g., on-call, precepting, orientation. Employees use the Kronos Workforce Employee self-service software to view a schedule in real time, sign up for open shifts, swap shifts, and request schedule changes or time off.

The integrated solution enables BJC clinical managers to go to one place — the schedule — to complete all their transactions, whether they are assigning shifts or ensuring correct payment for work performed. When maintained accurately, "MyTime" keeps all time and attendance information on the schedule. This de-emphasizes the role of timecard edits and brings greater consistency to both scheduling and pay practices.

New visibility and control gained with Kronos for Healthcare means that managers can use the system to manage staffing in a way that ensures adequate coverage — even as demand fluctuates. Because information such as scheduling role, work rules, and labor policies are built into the scheduling application, managers can make better decisions about workforce deployment. The system tracks hours worked for all employees in real time. And this helps managers to control overtime and contract labor expenses by selecting cost-effective and qualified replacements to fill coverage gaps.

Realizing labor cost savings and creating enhanced employee satisfaction

BJC HealthCare's efforts to transform workforce management through scheduling best practices, employee empowerment, consistency, and simplification have yielded significant results. The organization achieved savings in overtime and clocking in outside of scheduled hours, as well as improved workforce satisfaction through self-service. Standout results include:

  • Missouri Baptist Medical Center, a BJC HealthCare hospital, reduced early-in hours per pay period by 76 percent over a period of 10 weeks, for a savings of five full-time equivalents annually.
  • BJC HealthCare immediately realized a 50 percent reduction in payroll check errors and has sustained this reduction

For achieving significant improvements in employee satisfaction, operational consistency, financial control, and compliance through its strategic "MyTime" workforce management initiative, BJC HealthCare received a Kronos Best Practices Award. These awards are presented annually to organizations that demonstrate excellence in the application of Kronos solutions.

Looking ahead to new goals

With its Kronos for Healthcare solution in place, BJC HealthCare's "MyTime" team plans to introduce additional workforce management benefits. The team is monitoring common metrics across all BJC locations and developing real-time executive dashboards that will provide at-a-glance insight into employee scheduling, timekeeping, attendance, and leave information. The "MyTime" team’s past success is a good indicator that it will be equally successful in expanding BJC’s use of Kronos for Healthcare in the future.

© 2009, Kronos Incorporated. Kronos and the Kronos logo are registered trademarks and Workforce Attendance, Workforce Employee, Workforce Leave, Workforce Scheduler, and Workforce Timekeeper are trademarks of Kronos Incorporated or a related company. All other product and company names mentioned are used for identification purposes only and may be the trademarks of their respective owners. All specifications are subject to change. All rights reserved.