To free up IT staff, hospital looks to the cloud

Will also use labor analytics and real-time ADT data
By Mike Miliard
10:10 AM

With an eye toward improving the agility of its workforce management programs – and enabling its IT department to spend time on other projects – Saint Mary’s Hospital is is migrating to a cloud-based platform.

[See also: Cloud choice no longer 'pie in the sky']

Waterbury, Conn.-based Saint Mary’s, which has long used attendance and scheduling technology from Kronos, is moving those capabilities, across all departments for more than 2,000 employees, to the Kronos Cloud.

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This will enable all configuration, maintenance, upgrades and support to be handled by Kronos – welcome news to the hospital's IT department, says Michelle Godin, RN, manager of nursing business operation at Saint Mary’s.

"The Kronos workforce management suite has been automating critical workforce business processes for Saint Mary’s for several years to help improve productivity," Godin tells Healthcare IT News. "But to maximize these benefits, our healthcare operation had to maintain different servers that required additional resources and logistical planning to ensure that the system was up and running at all times."

In an era where IT staff have more on their plates than ever, that's an unnecessary misuse of valuable resources.

"Benefits anticipated include reduction in the amount of drawing on additional IT resources, helping save money and time," says Godin. "As a healthcare organization, Saint Mary’s must also ensure that business continuity is maintained and delivery of patient care is conducted as usual, despite unforeseen circumstances and Kronos Cloud can help in this aspect as well."

One welcome benefit of the cloud migration is the fact that the workforce management system will be maintained on the latest version, she says.

"Before the upgrade we were behind in upgrades but moving to cloud services provides us with the ability to review the new releases and move forward in an easier fashion. The system also alleviates the need for us to have our own support system; the vendor is a phone call away if we have issues. In these ways, we can maximize the efficiency of our operations."

Beyond the cloud migration, Saint Mary’s is broadening the applications of Kronos's workforce management tools, now making use of labor analytics, patient classification and workload management technology.

The hope, say Kronos officials, is to enhance productivity levels thanks to insights gained into the financial impact of labor decisions. The hospital will see real-time data on admissions, discharges  and transfers – getting the big picture of patient population workload and enabling the hospital to make quick and timely adjustments to match staffing with fluctuating patient demand.

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