The medical and healthcare industries have experienced an influx of patients seeking care in the past year. With healthcare workers facing longer hours and busier schedules, time management is more crucial than ever.
Time tracking and scheduling is an important part of any job, but especially when it comes to medical and healthcare professions, where every minute counts for patients. Whether you are an on-site or mobile healthcare worker, clocking in and out can be difficult when you’re on the go.
This guide will go over tips and tricks to optimize your schedule and how you track your time when you’re on the clock.
What is Time Tracking?
Time tracking is the measurement and documentation of hours worked and days off for employees. Many jobs will have you punch in when you arrive at work and punch out when you leave, but recent technological advances in the workplace allow for time-tracking software that saves you from having to remember to clock in and out.
Time tracking software is used across various industries, but it is particularly useful in the medical and healthcare industries for keeping teams organized and ensuring smooth day-to-day operations. Advancements in time tracking technology also introduced features to simplify the employee payroll process, providing further convenience for users.
Integrating time tracking technology into healthcare brings many benefits, especially when it comes to preventing employee time theft.
Time Theft in Healthcare
The healthcare sector is among the top three sectors where insider attacks are prevalent, the others being insurance and finance. Over 80% of employee theft cases in healthcare occur because the perpetrators are looking for financial gains. Due to the serious nature of the industry, where people’s lives can be impacted, any occurrences of employee theft can have severe consequences.
Time theft, when employees receive pay for hours they did not actually work, is one of the challenges that the healthcare industry faces. Employers lose 4.5 hours per week per employee to time theft, and in a field where time is of the essence, it’s not only workplace productivity that’s at risk, but people’s health and well-being.
The most common type of time theft is “buddy punching,” where another employee clocks in for them when they are running late or don’t arrive. According to Embroker, Three-quarters of companies lose money because of buddy punching, a problem that can be prevented by implementing a good time tracking system.
Other forms of time theft include:
- Late starts
- Early finishes
- Extended breaks
- Unauthorized overtime
- Conducting personal activities at work
Why Time Tracking is Important in the Healthcare Industry
Whether you work in a hospital, long-term care home, or a medical clinic, teamwork and organization are essential in order to provide the best healthcare services possible. Below are some reasons why time tracking is important in the healthcare and medical fields.
Tracking Time for Many Employees
At the end of 2018, more than 16 million people worked in the healthcare sector, according to Health Leaders Media. This accounts for 11 percent of jobs in the entire economy, and is expected to grow by 18 percent by 2026 due to the aging population with increased healthcare needs, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Since the healthcare industry is growing rapidly, with over 20 million employees, this means there’s a large number of people to keep track of when it comes to payroll and working hours.
Because many healthcare centers and hospitals implement shift schedules, they might be more prone to schedule mix-ups or errors with people clocking in and out all the time. To combat that, implementing a time tracking system like OnTheClock will enable organized, accurate time tracking 24/7. Also streamlining the process for both employees and management, and offering employee shift scheduling.
Reduces Human Error
Time tracking software allows hours to be tracked automatically as opposed to manually by administrators or the employees themselves, which reduces potential scheduling errors since the software is less prone to making timesheet errors.
Medical and healthcare workers often work long hours and full-day shifts. This makes it even more important to track employee hours when it comes to scheduling and swapping shifts, tracking PTO, and allowing employees to clock in from authorized locations using a mobile time clock app. It also allows managers to easily view and edit employees’ time cards if necessary.
Time Tracking Tips for Healthcare Workers
It’s important to create an efficient time tracking system to help employees succeed in this fast-paced industry. Here are some best practices for time tracking for healthcare workers to optimize their billable hours.
Don’t Wait Until the Last Minute
Make sure that you check your timesheet every day or week and not wait until the last minute to only realize that you forgot to punch in one day. Most employers have a set date that is the last day to log or change your hours, so making it a habit to confirm your time tracking was correct is a great way to make sure your billable hours are perfect well before they are due.
Align Time Clock with Payroll
Employees are allotted a certain amount of hours per week, so accurate time tracking is essential in ensuring that the pay you receive reflects the number of hours worked. Integrating time tracking with payroll streamlines the payroll process so that employees are paid accurately and on time.
Avoid Handwritten Time Entries
When employee time records are written by hand as opposed to digitally calculated, there’s a high likelihood that there will be errors since there can be issues of illegible handwriting or incorrect time entries. This makes an online time clock optimal for such a fast-paced and busy environment like the medical field.
Utilize Technology for Mobile Healthcare Workers
As opposed to traditional on-site medical healthcare workers, mobile workers operate in the digital health sector where they use smartphones, tablets and other technology to conduct telemedicine. These workers would greatly benefit from using a mobile time tracking system in an app.
For instance, OnTheClock’s software works across various digital platforms — web, tablets, or phones — allowing on-site and mobile healthcare workers to track time using their preferred devices. Managers can also utilize the GPS tracking to make sure the mobile healthcare staff are at the right location or patient’s home at a given time.
Healthcare Time Tracking Conclusion
Although time-tracking seems straightforward, a large number of employees and a fast-paced environment can make this practice much more complicated. Using an online time tracking system allows for healthcare providers and medical professionals to use their time in an impactful way. Instead of spending precious time on timesheets, they are able to help those who need their time the most.
Time Tracking With Shift Scheduling
Perfect for medical and healthcare employees.