As a brand new business in 2013, it was critical for Reliant Healthcare to have a robust, easy-to-use, fully accessible staff scheduling and rostering system in place from the get-go.
With its unique business model providing nursing care, care assistance and general support services, Reliant Healthcare needed a system that empowered them to efficiently manage a pool of allied health and nurse specialists, and carers. It needed to, take control of the assignments and schedules of their clients.
After a considerable search they found Deputy, and now, two years on Alexandra Conroy, Director of Reliant Healthcare explains how the online work scheduling tool has become integral to how she runs her business.
Bookings, availability, jobs and schedules
Alexandra Conroy, Director Reliant Healthcare has been using Deputy for two years.
Two days are never the same at Reliant, but we’ve put systems in place to help us manage this and work efficiently and at speed. Our systems underpin our ability to be organised regardless of what comes our way.
For instance, Deputy provides us with a single, consistent view of our staff bookings and availability, jobs and schedules.
This information allows us to work at speed. We pride ourselves on being accessible, so when a client requests urgent help, we can respond without delay. Using Deputy we can see immediately who from our selected team for a particular client is available to take the job. From there we simply make a request and the particular worker or workers respond in the same way – with a click to accept or decline the shift. More often than not, they do this from the Deputy app that’s loaded on their mobile device.
Deputy really comes into its own, as part of our daily scheduling duties and responding to specific requirements for qualified nurses and carers. Through Deputy we offer shifts to our staff, get their responses and publish a roster that works for both clients and carers. And it’s as easy as a click of a button.
Interestingly though, when we first started using Deputy, we actually started out quite tentatively. We wanted to be sure that our staff were confident using the technology.
In this line of work, most of our staff had only experienced highly manual rostering systems. An Excel spreadsheet was about as good as it got. So we didn’t want to overwhelm them with a high-tech alternative.
So we started using Deputy as our internal management system to help us arrange our staff, but we would then revert to email to send out the roster and get their confirmations by phone.
However, it didn’t take long for our staff members to start downloading the app and completing their availability details and accepting or declining their shifts online. This was far more efficient and saved everyone an incredible amount of time.
Once all our staff members were comfortable with checking their devices for Deputy notifications, we progressed to using the “find replacement” and “open shift” tools which is a really fast way to show everyone what shifts are available and replace people when they can’t make their shift.
When we started using Deputy we had about six members of staff on our books. We now employ over 150 healthcare workers who perform a wide range of different roles. This includes companion carers to highly skilled end-stage palliative care nurses and other allied health professionals such as exercise physiologists.
Deputy has been invaluable to us and underpinned this expansion.
At Reliant, we’ve always been conscious of growing at a manageable pace. It’s critical for us to serve and respond to our clients’ needs with the highest quality staff.
This also means we’re always mindful of not over-hiring. We aim to offer our staff – many of whom are casual workers – consistent work with their preferred clients.
In terms of looking after the wellbeing of our staff, having data from Deputy allows us to closely monitor the hours our people work and set stress profiles so that we can ensure our staff are not overworked. It’s very valuable.
Using Deputy has also underpinned our expansion because we know we have a system that is not going to fail us or our staff which allows us to push forward with confidence!
Another valuable benefit of Deputy for Reliant is its reporting capabilities. We can keep an eye on staff fatigue, tenure, holidays and time off, which helps us run our business better and look after our staff.
Back office integration
From the outset, we integrated Deputy with Xero which streamlines the back office functions of our business. This integration means there’s no need to rekey data from one system to another, we don’t duplicate work, and we are fully confident in the quality of our data. This integration continues to save us both time and money and eliminates the chore of manual data entry and the associated errors.
Even more important than this though, this integration means our payroll and invoicing is precise and error free.
With Deputy now a cornerstone of our people management practices, we are confident we’ve got the right systems in place to support us through our next stage of growth.