Having served a rough week at the office, Royce decides to spend the weekend hiking with his family in Tennessee. Halfway through the trail, on Sunday afternoon, he receives a text message on his phone indicating that a critical staff member cannot be present for tomorrow morning’s surgery rotation in the operating room; Royce is a scheduling administrator at a hospital. At the click of a single button on his smartphone, all credentialed staff at the hospital with the proper skill requirements have been automatically notified and within five minutes, three have already submitted requests to take the staff member’s place. Royce simply pushes a button to approve, the swap is updated and the new real-time schedule is live for everyone to see on their phones. While Royce is a fictional character in this episode, the scenario is routine and unmistakeably depicts the challenges faced by healthcare administrators every day in the healthcare sector. While the solution for handling the situation above is technology based, the company that built it thinks differently about the market altogether. “We don’t consider ourselves an IT company, we think of ourselves as a lifestyle company. That’s because we drastically alter the quality of life for the people who use our application,” notes William Davis, Managing Director of Treose.
Even though the need for efficient workforce scheduling is crucial to all business sectors, it is far more vital to the healthcare industry given the costs and consequences of an improperly staffed facility or operating room. Unlike many businesses, hospitals are staffed 24 hours per day and cannot be left unattended, be it a Saturday night or the fourth of July. With growing complexity in the healthcare industry and a dynamic workforce that is being stretched increasingly thinner, the industry is having to reconsider how they engage their workforce. For many organizations, they attempt to manage their schedules with spreadsheets, which is not only error-prone, but impossibly inefficient. Without a technological solution like Treose, it is impossible to create schedules that take employee’s preferences into account while also creating equitability for everyone. Additionally, the larger the organization and the larger the number of employees and locations, the greater the challenge and the greater the need for a solution like Treose.
We don’t consider ourselves an IT company, but a lifestyle company for we drastically alter the quality of life of the people who use our applications
In the healthcare industry today, Treose surfaces as one of the only “mechanized way” solutions to automatically schedule a workforce in a way which serves both the organization’s business outcomes and the quality of life of the employees. With some of the most sophisticated and intelligent algorithms in the industry, the application load balances the organization needs across the entire spectrum while creating equitable schedules to ensure that every resource is maximized while also honoring their working preferences. Also, since the Treose schedule generation is automated, it creates schedules which can be rolled out quicker which affords both administrators and the employees the extra time to plan their future commitments without any disruptions. Madison Mulkey, COO of the firm adds, “Our application accommodates everyone’s preferences to create schedules with maximum coverage. Furthermore, the system is far more efficient than doing them manually because computers don’t make the mistakes we humans do.” Mulkey’s comment points toward a human tendency that is often present while making judgements such as allocating work hours. “Computers don’t play favorites.” This means that the workload is evenly distributed for all employees to the greatest extent possible.
Treose is a web-based and mobile application that extends its value proposition beyond administrators toward the employee end of the spectrum. The application features a “Trade Board” which allows the workforce to exchange work shifts amongst themselves based on pre-defined organizational needs and employee skill requirements. Consider, for example, a healthcare provider wants to take his son to a baseball game on Thursday afternoon, but is currently scheduled for a shift at the hospital. Rather than having to email his supervisor who then emails a dozen other people who may or may not respond timely, he simply uses his phone to post the shift to the trade board and all employees who meet the skill requirement immediately receive a text notification. If any of these providers would like to pick up that shift, or even better, swap that shift with another, it all happens automatically behind the scenes requiring only a click of the button of the supervisor to approve. A simple swap in this example, took only five minutes as opposed to days. The first employee is happy because he gets to attend his child’s baseball game, the second employee is happy because he or she gets an additional shift, and the administrator is happy because all he had to do was click a button to approve after all the work was already done.
The firm, Mulkey points out, is founded by healthcare professionals who have first-hand experience of the challenges facing the industry. Having penetrated four new states in the last four months, the firm is beginning to experience growth of its application on a national level. “The customization and intelligence offered to people is something they find new and exciting – which in turn makes it fun for us to be able to solve problems that have not been solved before,” he concludes.