COMMERCIAL: Buckinghamshire Healthcare Trust has implemented a new electronic workforce management system, which has been claimed to cut incidence of staff sickness.

The trust has brought in the SMART system, made by Kronos Incorporated.

The software uses a “centralised bureau approach”, a press release from the manufacturer said, enabling ward managers to run their departments will the optimal skill mix.

The approach enables best practice to be identified and shared across the trust, the release said. This has resulted in cuts to the staff sickness rate of 1 per cent for healthcare assistants and 0.8 per cent for qualified nurses.

The system produces rosters not less than six weeks in advance, and enables managers to keep more accurate records of actual shifts worked.

It is also designed to allow staff with the right skills to be deployed across wards, where skills gaps are identified. This should reduce the need to use agency staff.

Lynne Swiatczak, chief nurse and director of patient care standards, said: “By ensuring that e-rostering is implemented effectively making best use of the staff we already have, we have seen a lower requirement for temporary staff, reduced absence, better management of leave, reduced admin for other departments such as payroll and ESR, all of which save the Trust money.  

“The transparency that the centralised approach gives us means that we are able to apply best practice across the trust, which ultimately improves patient care”