Optimize your Rosters. . .Optimize Your Costs

Optimize News

February 2009 - Powertec adds new Bank Management facilities to Optimize

Optimize now has the ability to automatically highlight staffing gaps and use self-service or web-based facilities to fill vacant shifts avoiding the use of traditional "bank" systems.

POWERtec Systems & Consultancy Ltd has unveiled a revolutionary new approach to the management of temporary nursing staff in the NHS. Every year the NHS spends approximately £1bn, or 10% of all nursing pay, in employing agency staff to fill vacant shifts*. Until now this has typically been managed by individual wards sending their requirements to a team of “bank” coordinators, who match up the understaffed shift with the availability of staff registered on their books. A typical acute hospital might have to fill 700 shifts per week in this way, so the administrative burden is immense. It is a vastly time-consuming, costly and unwieldy process.

POWERtec’s solution to this problem is to further enhance their Optimize workforce management system. As rosters are prepared through Optimize, the gaps are immediately identified and shift vacancies publicised using its self service module. Staff can then see what the requirements are and volunteer for shifts, either through self service or over the web. SMS text messaging is used to alert nurses outside the Trust to requirements that may be of interest.

This approach is revolutionary not just in its use of text messaging and the web, but above all in the way it eliminates the distinction between the “rostering” system and the “bank” system. Up until now, efforts to streamline the management of temporary staff have focussed on linking these two together. Optimize simply encompasses them in one unified system. Download the full article (PDF)

January 2009 - POWERtec's Optimize e-rostering software Wins Health Business Healthcare IT award December 2008

POWERtec, today announced that its e-rostering system - Optimize, developed in partnership with The Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust, has won the Healthcare IT Award 2008 at the Health Business Magazine Awards December 2008 event. This award recognises "...a ground breaking IT project that demonstrates clear cost benefits to the wider NHS."

The judges said: "By improving the way NHS employees are managed through better rostering, greater value can be released from all resources so that better care is provided to patients. The Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust’s work in this area wins the 2008 Healthcare IT Award by demonstrating cost savings through the roll out of a well thought out system, designed in partnership with a private sector supplier." In the current economic climate, this is an incredible success story. Optimize, and solutions like it, will be critical in meeting the targets set for NHS Trusts in the operating framework for the NHS in England 2009/10. Download the full article (PDF)

June 08 - Royal Berkshire 'saves £1m' with e-rostering

Read the full article here.

May 08 - Powertec launches Optimize-Roster e-rostering software

Powertec, one of the United Kingdom’s leading providers of healthcare software, today announced the launch of Optimize-Roster, a new rostering system designed for all staff working in healthcare including nurses, doctors and non-clinical staff. Optimize-Roster can be used by acute hospitals, primary care trusts, mental health trusts, care homes and private hospitals.

Optimize-Roster offers a sophisticated e-rostering solution which is supported by the company’s twenty-year experience in the UK healthcare market. Optimize-Roster enables staff to enter their shift requests through Self Service and provides tools to assist the manager in matching these against the ward or department’s requirements. Workforce management tools analyse each roster to ensure maximum cost savings. Contracted hours are tracked, absence closely monitored and lost time significantly reduced. Extensive reporting facilities are available to ward and Trust managers.

Optimize-Roster fully interfaces from and to the NHS Electronic Staff Record (ESR) system which maintains data integrity. Automatic timesheets save time and improve payroll accuracy. The cost savings come from the way in which Optimize-Roster enables the manager to efficiently balance the needs of the ward with the needs of the staff. By maximizing the use of available resources, Optimize-Roster reduces bank and agency staff usage by at least 50%, reduces sickness levels, and can achieve a 5% saving on nursing staff costs. In a typical Trust, this can amount to savings of over £1m per year.

The system produced cost savings of over £1m for The Royal Berkshire Hospital in its first year of operation. The aim was to introduce flexible working policies in line with the Improving Working Lives Standard, as well as to achieve integration with its HR and payroll systems and, crucially, to reduce expenditure on temporary staff.

Tony Ive, Managing Director of Powertec said: "The launch of Optimize-Roster is significant for us because we can demonstrate that our e-rostering solution can save healthcare organisations sizeable parts of their budgets, improve the flexibility and quality of the working lives of their staff and improve patient care. We work closely with our healthcare clients to maximise their efficiency. We are proud of the collaboration with The Royal Berkshire Hospital which has produced solid improvements in the work life balance of their staff, enabled the Trust to achieve its targets and saved valuable NHS resources."

October 07 - Optimize creates bi-directional interfaces with ESR

Optimize is the only rostering system with bi-directional interfaces with ESR. All staff information is taken direct from ESR to protect the integrity of the data; timesheets are produce automatically by Optimize and passed electronically to ESR. Optimize provides a trusts Payroll department with a web interface that allows them to view all timesheet and absence data before and after submission to ESR.

David Booth, ESR Interface Team Manager, comments: "The NHS Project Team has been working with Powertec and the Royal Berkshire Foundation Hospital NHS Trust to link Optimize to ESR using the standard interfaces. The Trust is now live on ESR with the interfaces working successfully and staff being paid from timesheet information sent direct from Optimize."


Optimize was presented with a runners up award in the NHS South Central Health Care Awards 2007, for the category "Innovation in technology –using new technology to benefit patient care".