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Investment in eRostering reaps tangible benefits and significant ROI

October 21, 2009 - Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust has saved £500,000 by investing in innovative eRostering software from SMART, a leading provider of solutions for workforce management. The Trust has reaped tangible benefits in terms of transparency and reductions in bank usage and has achieved a significant return on investment (ROI) only 12 months after SMART was introduced. SMART's electronic rostering software has proved an invaluable tool in the roster planning and management of 1,300 nursing and ancillary staff who regularly care for 320,000 people every year. The installation of the software is helping Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust to target a reduction in requested bank shifts through visibility of and re-allocation of unused hours.

Brenda Blackett, Project Manager of eRostering at Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust explained the fundamental change brought about by the SMART solution: "The key benefit is that we now use a 'transparent' system that brings together all considerations: timesheet, rostering and absences so they can be managed within one integrated, up-to-date and current system that makes contracted hours more visible."

Prior to the implementation of the SMART system, the Trust could not track contracted hours against hours worked and did not know whether staff were working their contracted hours. Now, the Trust can monitor the actual hours that staff have worked against their contracted hours, leading to more accurate timesheets and correct payroll details.

The major advantage that SMART software has over the legacy paper system is its ability to identify trends resulting in more proactive and effective management of skills, workloads and patient incidents. For example, sickness absence is visible on the system. The Trust can see when absences took place and if there was a pattern, for example, when staff should have worked nights or a long day. Having an electronic record of shifts also makes it easier in the case of an incident as the Trust can see who was on duty at any one time.

SMART has given empowerment to management, nursing and ancillary staff alike. SMART's time-saving self-service element means that employees are able to look at their own working hours, request shifts or arrange a shift swap from a request Kiosk or anywhere with Internet access. Staff can check holiday balances and credits from home before they are sent to payroll and see that pay is generated correctly prior to receiving it. Because of direct links to Investment in innovative eRostering solution reaps tangible benefits, achieving significant ROI within 12 months of deployment 21 October 2009 timesheets, as long as the roster is correct, the system ensures there is less room for error. The Trust expects this to result in fewer pay queries in future.

SMART's Auto-Rostering feature ensures that the appropriate skills are utilised and deployed to meet patient care demands. These are guided by a set of system parameters for the number of bands required to work each shift. "If four people want to work a 'band 6' shift but you only require two, the system will only accept two requests for the shift. It does this using a fair-play policy that looks at shifts already worked or requested and then allocates on this basis. Previously this was a manual process which wasn't auditable - Auto- Rostering ensures it is fairer for all," Blackett continued.

The implementation of the SMART eRostering solution has been so successful in reducing bank usage that Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust is planning to extend the use of the software beyond the deployment of staff within ward areas to other parts of the organisation. By doing so, the Trust expects to realise further operational efficiencies and cost savings whilst providing the same high levels of excellent patient care.

Tristan Spencer, Health Market Director at SMART, commented: "We are proud of our track record in providing end-to-end workforce management solutions to NHS trusts. Our technology removes the pain of managing a manual rostering process and it delivers huge financial benefits. Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust is a superb real-life example of how NHS trusts are able to develop and improve the services they offer to their patients and clients whilst, at the same time, meet rigorous public sector spending challenges."

SMART will continue to work with Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust to support and maintain the new system.

For press enquiries, please contact:
Lucy Caudle, Marketing Manager, SMART
Telephone: 01438 822229
Email: lucyc@smart-workforce.com

Or

Andreina West, PR Artistry
Telephone: 01491 639500
Email: andreina@pra-ltd.co.uk

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