The big cost of manual processes in healthcare

Ashik Ahmed

Ashik Ahmed

CEO, CTO & Co-Founder

January 05, 2015

The big cost of manual processes in healthcare

Ashik Ahmed, CEO, CTO & Co-Founder
January 05, 2015

A story on Japara Healthcare, the newly listed aged care provider, really caught my eye earlier this month. Their share price plummeted on the news that they had uncovered a blunder in the manual processing of their payroll. They had neglected to pay their employees about $5 million in overtime pay.

With manual systems, this kind of thing is frighteningly common.

While the company is in the process of introducing new automated workforce management systems, the underpayment has raised big questions in the industry in terms of the extent to which aged care providers are reliant on old, and outmoded ways of doing things.

Front office/back office disconnect

As healthcare providers focus on reducing operating expenses while improving patient care, many have made substantial investments in medical and patient technology that are reaping benefits in patient care. However, as yet, much of the back office has been neglected amid this transformation.

Prone to human error

For instance, manual processes in labour management and rostering continue to play havoc with the cost and quality of healthcare. There’s the constant struggle to contain labour costs while managing the complex demands of providing the right number of employees with the right skills and experience at the right time.

Plus, in most healthcare organisations, supplementing the pool of permanent full-time nursing and caring staff, with more expensive agency staff, is always a fine balancing act that typically stretches budget constraints to the limit.

Without automated systems, there’s no way of getting a real -time costing in advance. You’re left to guesswork when it comes to forecasting staffing requirements.

Excel spreadsheets are slowing you down

However, despite its time consuming nature and the complexities involved in rostering staff in the healthcare industry, an overwhelming number of providers still continue to use out-dated systems that are prone to human error. In far too many organisations, Excel spreadsheets, are the basis of the rostering system.

And creating a roster in this way typically requires significant involvement from senior nursing staff, taking them away from caring for patients.

But it doesn’t need to be this way.

Automate the back office

At Deputy, we have a growing customer base of aged care, and healthcare providers. These organisations recognised that their manual processes were slowing down their business growth and undermining their efficiency and productivity. They recognised the need to streamline their back office to match their high levels of patient care.


For instance, Focus Eye Centre in Sydney, provides patients with the highest standards of treatment and using the latest technology. However, before Deputy, much of the time and attendance, and payroll management work was painstaking, cumbersome and highly manual. If anything changed, such as when someone was away sick, it would send this schedule into disarray.

The move to Deputy is saving them considerable man hours in administrative work. It’s also minimised human error and has enhanced the productivity of office staff.


In another example, Reliant Healthcare, a newly created provider of specialist healthcare services, wanted fully automated and integrated rostering and scheduling from the get-go in order to manage multiple jobs and a mix of assignments across numerous locations.

As they needed to keep track of their team and always know which person was working at a particular job, when specialists were available to work the next assignment, and what upcoming jobs needed to be serviced. They knew an automated, real-time system was the only answer.

On Deputy, it’s very easy for Reliant Healthcare to identify where people are, where they need to be next, and to contact them. It also means they can move quickly, place assignments to the right staff, and assure customers and their families that the job is under control.

What are you waiting for?

Simplifying processes is never a bad thing. Neither is decreasing time spent on redundant administrative tasks. If your manual rostering and work scheduling processes are slowing you down, why not sign up for a free trial today.

Important Notice
The information contained in this article is general in nature and you should consider whether the information is appropriate to your needs. Legal and other matters referred to in this article are of a general nature only and are based on Deputy's interpretation of laws existing at the time and should not be relied on in place of professional advice. Deputy is not responsible for the content of any site owned by a third party that may be linked to this article and no warranty is made by us concerning the suitability, accuracy or timeliness of the content of any site that may be linked to this article. Deputy disclaims all liability (except for any liability which by law cannot be excluded) for any error, inaccuracy, or omission from the information contained in this article and any loss or damage suffered by any person directly or indirectly through relying on this information.

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Ashik Ahmed
Ashik is the Co-Founder and CEO/CTO at Deputy. He spends most of his time thinking crazy things about Deputy and how it will change the world.

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