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Case Study: Saskatchewan Health Authority

Using technology to simplify complex scheduling processes


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Business Problem

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Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA)* was facing immense, varied challenges keeping up with the staffing demand of filling unexpected vacancies. With ~300 unplanned short-term absences to fill every single day, the scheduling department was in crisis mode.

Compounding the magnitude of this problem were the inherent complexities of operating in a union environment and ensuring compliance with the procedure sets, time rules and shift granting rules in place. Highly inefficient, manual processes required 16 staff members to try and keep up with filling these shifts, resulting in an average time of 28 minutes to fill a shift.

Further, this manual, high pressure environment was prone to errors, leading to unnecessary overtime charges and an alarmingly high rate of scheduling related grievances. It was abundantly clear that the current process was not sustainable. With no apparent solutions available in the marketplace, there was no opportunity to get ahead of the problem and/or plan for future challenges that may arise.

Better, more efficient solutions were needed to ensure that work was completed in an accurate, timely matter.


*Note: On December 4, 2017, Saskatoon Health Region (SHR) became part of the Saskatchewan Health Authority, as the province's 12 Regional Health Authorities transitioned to a single provincial health authority. This case study is reflective of facilities located in Saskatoon and the area.

Partnering with Andgo (The Solution)

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The fully automated, integrated and streamlined processes within Andgo leveraged SHA’s existing scheduling software with minimal disruption. Modifiable rules and logic were embedded to take into account the unique labour union rules and policies present in Healthcare environments.

With the launch of Andgo, the main issues have subsided and significant efficiencies have been realized. This new and improved system has empowered staff and managers to plan their shifts in advance, even on the go from their smartphones.


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Benefits for Employees

Through Andgo, employees can now take ownership of their schedule, putting them in the driver seat with respect to their work-life balance.

Employees are empowered to be in control of their own personal information, notification preferences and availability. This enables employees to pick up the shifts they want, when they want, how they want, and even apply automatically for future shifts.

“Both as a charge nurse and as an RN on the floor, the texting/online system through Andgo is so much better and easier than it used to be. Schedulers having to call out was super tedious, and I often missed their calls or had to ignore them because I was too busy to pick up the phone. As a mom of 3 kids with seemingly endless sports and activities, Andgo gives me the flexibility to pick up the shifts I want how and when it is convenient for me”

            Crystal Fitch, Registered Nurse

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Benefits for Managers/Admins

Intelligent workflow automation from Andgo empowers managers/admins to focus on more strategic and efficient tasks, increasing their efficiency and job satisfaction while reducing errors.

Prior to deploying Andgo, managers were left guessing as to whether shifts would be filled or not. With Andgo, managers have insights into scheduling patterns to proactively plan ahead vs. reacting to the problems of the day. Further, Andgo provides managers with streamlined communication capabilities to build trust and transparency with employees.


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Benefits for Staff Schedulers

Andgo allows schedulers to more accurately and equitably fill shifts and allocate vacation in a fraction of the time in comparison to manual processes, significantly reducing costs and risks.

Prior to Andgo being in place, schedulers were never able to keep up with the day-to-day demands of manual scheduling workflow. By leveraging Andgo to automate repetitive, monotonous tasks, schedulers are empowered to be more strategic and do more thoughtful and rewarding work.

Andgo enables schedulers to create & post unfilled shifts months in advance, reducing the sheer volume of immediate need shifts.

With Andgo, schedulers can align the right people in the right shifts at the right time, improving both employee satisfaction and quality of patient care. 

"Andgo brought our organization into the technology age! Our organization is able to quickly fill open shifts via SMS, IVR and online and they are very innovative in coming up with even better solutions in this ever-changing world."

Gail Cummings, Scheduling Specialist

Staff Schedulers

Results & Outcomes

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By using Andgo, SHA’s scheduling staff is significantly more efficient, evidenced by a 33x increase in call out capacity despite re-deploying 75% of the team to more strategic high-value tasks. 4 scheduling staff can now manage the workload of 300 shifts to be filled on a daily basis. Other scheduling team members are strategically re-deployed to focus on more value-added scheduling activities and planning for the future.
These efficiency gains were realized by:

  • Reducing the average time to fill a shift from 28 minutes to 3.5

  • Enabling employees to book shifts in advance, significantly reducing the volume of immediate need shifts to fill

  • Automating the entire process from end-to-end; going beyond shift call-outs to automatically account for time rules, call lists, procedure sets and shift granting rules

"Andgo has dramatically increased the number of shifts the scheduling department can handle. We went from filling about 7,500 shifts per week to 15,000... we have scheduled over 10k staff located in over 100 communities."

Kweku Johnson, Director HR Systems & Analytics

 

In addition to these efficiency gains, SHA has seen an 80% reduction in scheduling related grievances, and a 3x gain in employee satisfaction scores with respect to scheduling. Overall, SHA has seen a return on investment in excess of 300% by deploying Andgo.


Results & Outcome Metrics (2)

Next Steps

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