Problem: Payroll inaccuracies, outdated software and a lack of a systems integration

Solution: Integrated solution for time and attendance, staffing and scheduling

Results: Consistent payroll, staffing efficiencies and employee empowerment

"When it came to making the systems work for our specific needs, the team and I especially appreciated API Healthcare’s willingness to create as many test environments as we needed."

"Payroll has more control because everything is in the system. We’re more accurate now, and we can do our jobs faster, better and more easily—and with less staff."

Mary Gallardo
Executive Director of Finance
MemorialCare Medical Centers


A NEED FOR INTEGRATION

When MemorialCare Medical Centers began reevaluating its time and attendance system, managers found many areas in need of improvement. Some facilities were relying on outdated systems while others were still using manual time cards. All of these areas merited attention, but the primary need was to produce accurate paychecks that satisfied applicable rules and policies.

Executive Director of Finance Mary Gallardo led the evaluation of a new time and attendance system. Her team’s first consideration went to upgrading the existing software, but they also wanted a vendor that offered superior customer support. “The team spent a great deal of time managing how much we owed our previous vendor for support,” she says. “They took a nickel-and-dime approach to implementing new rules for us.”

A visit to a hospital running that vendor’s upgraded system did not allay the concerns Gallardo and her team had. “The system wasn’t delivering the promised benefits,” she says. “The hospital staff the team met with couldn’t adequately answer questions about system performance.”

By contrast, when the team visited an Ohio hospital using a time and attendance application from API Healthcare, Gallardo says, “We were very impressed with the API Healthcare system. The hospital was similar to ours, which let us make useful comparisons.”

During the evaluation process, MemorialCare added scheduling software to the search. “With our previous scheduling system, managers had to enter data manually,” Gallardo says, “and the time and attendance and scheduling systems were not integrated, which produced payroll errors.”


EXPERT IMPLEMENTATION

After an extensive review process, Gallardo and her colleagues determined that API Healthcare offered a truly integrated system that would meet their needs. The selection team recommended API Healthcare’s Time and Attendance Solution along with API Healthcare’s Staffing and Scheduling Solution. MemorialCare chose to implement Time and Attendance and Staffing and Scheduling on a facility-by-facility basis, beginning with the medical centers most in need of upgrades. Once complete, the rollout of the combined systems will touch more than 10,000 MemorialCare employees at four major facilities.

Gallardo and her team, who affectionately dubbed Time and Attendance the 'MemorialCare Time Machine', report complete satisfaction with the implementation process. In contrast with their previous vendor, API Healthcare encouraged the MemorialCare staff to take ownership of their new systems, yet API Healthcare was always available for support.

API Healthcare’s exclusive healthcare focus ensured that whenever a stumbling block arose, issues could be addressed quickly. “When it came to making the systems work for our specific needs,” Gallardo says, “the team and I especially appreciated API Healthcare’s willingness to create as many test environments as we needed.”


TANGIBLE RESULTS

Gallardo and her team have observed many benefits, starting with employee empowerment: “The motto for our training program is ‘Your time, your schedule and your money.’ Staff members now have 24/7 online access to their schedules and hours worked, and they can self-schedule. These services are big morale boosters.”

Department managers are also benefiting. In the past, many managers avoided the time and attendance system because it required data entry. Editors would input the data, and managers would then sign off, but accuracy was a constant concern. Now, because Time and Attendance is visible for all employees and managers, editors no longer need to input data and managers can easily approve time.

The application of rules and policies has also improved dramatically. Because the system validates employee eligibility for special pay, payroll accuracy has improved and generated substantial cost savings. The systems also help employees get paid accurately for callback and on-call time. In addition, the issuance of special checks has been eliminated.

The integrated systems also allow managers to allot overtime fairly and consistently, while preventing excessive overtime pay. The system generates reports that show whether staff is working and being paid for their required number of shifts, which helps managers more accurately classify staff employment status while maintaining optimal staffing levels.

In addition, MemorialCare no longer depends on manual data entry and the staffing resources it required, which increases efficiency. Their offices have gone paperless, eliminating some 250 payroll corrections per pay period for one facility.

Although it is too early to determine complete cost savings, one result has on over an executive team member: During the first Time and Attendance implementation, there were no payroll errors or missed paychecks, which was viewed as a sign of success. Gallardo and her team are also satisfied: “Payroll has more control because everything is in the system. We’re more accurate now, and we can do our jobs faster, better and more easily—and with less staff.”