Why NHS organisations must innovate from the ground up
For a few years the NHS has explored the potential of digital transformation, and has introduced various ideas and initiatives through the long-term plan. However, rollout and innovation haven’t been quick, and the common issues and processes that plagued the NHS pre-long-term plan haven’t completely disappeared.
The pandemic, however, has forced the NHS to somewhat innovate, bringing multiple existing services online, and building new digital experiences to provide critical support to the population.
With the imminent launch of the final Integrated Care Systems (ICS), the NHSE has also offered £120,000 per ICS to introduce digital workforce solutions to their local regions.
Finding the right solution for your workforce
So, when it comes to introducing new digital solutions to your ICS - as well as other NHS organisations - how do you pick the right ones? It’s worth remembering that the decision-makers are most likely not going to be the ones using the solutions. Therefore, when researching, it’s important to consider - and even involve - your end users. Further to this, if you involve the people who will be using the solutions, uptake will be much better and you’ll get more value for money out of the investment.
To help you make these decisions, we’ve created a list of the key things to consider when finding a digital workforce solution for your organisation.
1. Involve your end users in the research process
As mentioned above, the people who decide how to spend the money aren’t likely to be the people using the selected solutions on a daily basis. So, what might initially seem like a great workforce platform might not have the functionality needed to improve daily tasks - and could even increase workload and stress.
To ensure you find the right solution for your workforce, you could:
- Have a representation of end users in the pitches you attend
This might not be a viable option, depending on availability, however, if you put potential providers directly in front of your end users, they will be able to ask the right questions and quickly determine which solution is the one to go with. The end users you should consider inviting to pitches are Primary Care Network Managers and Clinical Directors.
- Hold a troubleshooting session with your end users
By bringing a team of your end users together, you can quickly uncover common issues your chosen solution should improve, as well as key functionality requirements needed.
- Ask providers to share collateral that breaks down how to use their platform
The easiest way to circulate potential solutions with your workforce is to send out collateral from the potential providers - this might be a brochure or video content. By sending these out, along with a deadline to give feedback, you’ll be able to quickly collect input on which provider to pick.
2. Find a solution that helps them work smarter, not harder
There’s such a broad range of potential workforce platforms out there, and deciding which one is right for your organisation can be a difficult - and at times confusing - process. The temptation might be to go with the provider that fixes a particular, current problem, however, you might find, under further inspection, that their solution doesn’t also cover additional processes that you need support on.
The result of doing this means you can end up having to partner with multiple providers to have solutions for different parts of your workforce management - and this can mean your end users will most likely end up working harder, rather than smarter (which is the whole point of bringing in a digital solution).
- You might find that your selection of providers isn’t willing to collaborate, and so you can’t integrate different tools, e.g. your staff bank and your rota tool.
- You could end up having to spend more money that initially planned to cover the costs of using the different providers, resulting in cutbacks elsewhere.
- Your end users will mostly likely have to duplicate work on different platforms, increasing admin and reducing much-needed automation.
So, how do you avoid this pitfall? It’s worth thinking about the bigger picture and future proofing your organisation. So, when you are researching potential providers, you should look for someone who provides end-to-end workforce management. Even if you’re only looking for a particular platform to start (a rota tool, for example), you’ll then be able to set up another part of your organisation with the same provider at a later date (e.g. your staff bank) - making it easier to schedule staff and run your rota.
3. Have conversations with potential providers
The process of finding a workforce management platform can feel overwhelming, and the calls with various providers can seem time consuming. However, having these conversations is key to finding the right solution for your organisation, and here’s why:
- There’s no limit to the number of conversations you can have with the providers, and they’ll always be happy to jump on a call and answer any questions you might have.
- You can gain a much better understanding of what they offer through a conversation, rather than online - a website can only tell you so much, and speaking with someone will enable you to get the information you really want to know.
- You can connect with their other clients and ask what using their platform is really like - an online case study will highlight all of the great work done, but speaking directly with a client will give you a fuller picture.
Introducing Connected Scheduling
Lantum is the only digital workforce platform to offer Connected Scheduling, By managing your staffing end-to-end with just one tool, you’ll have more visibility over your workforce, and save time and money. The platform gives you access to:
- A digital staff bank
- An integrated rota tool
- A network of 30,000 clinicians
To learn more about the benefits of introducing Connected Scheduling to your organisation, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.