What is IVR?

Interactive Voice Response (IVR) is an automated phone system. It can be customized to meet individual organizational needs. It is a technology that helps guide employees through an interactive menu to ensure they are reaching the department they need. The messages are pre-recorded and prompt employees to use their touch-tone keypad or speak up so that voice recognition can navigate them through a custom system. This ensures all of the employee’s information gets where it needs to go.

IVR is often used for calling in sick in the workplace. The easy to navigate system allows employees to submit their absence and rest assured that the information is getting to the right department. Another common use for IVR is in shift replacement. Employees can call into the system to find out what shifts are available and place bids immediately.

In organizations without IVR systems, an employee may call in and leave a voicemail on a manager’s line. What if the manager is away on vacation or out sick as well? How does the employee know their message is being heard and if required, their shift being filled? An IVR system removes uncertainty. The system exists to ensure information is passed to where it needs to be. It provides employees and employers with peace of mind. IVR intelligently routes incoming employee calls, ensuring their message gets to the right person or department. 

 

Quick Dial          quick dial

Quick Dial is an IVR system that directs incoming employee calls. It alleviates pain points in a scheduling department by automating and sorting incoming shift-related calls. Through Quick Dial, incoming calls are captured, organized, and filtered through configurable categories on a dashboard where department Managers and Scheduling Staff prioritize and process them.  Each call and corresponding action is logged and can be reviewed in a searchable audit trail. Quick Dial optimizes the way scheduling departments receive, direct and process incoming phone calls.

Andgo’s Quick Dial IVR system is also able to capture basic information about the caller. This allows for important information required by managers and schedulers to be collected. The system is completely customizable and easy to set up. It manages the filtering of incoming queries and frees up time for managers and schedulers, allowing them to focus on meaningful work.

Quick Dial can be expanded to other areas of operations where a large volume of incoming phone calls are received. Each call is automatically supplemented with additional information such as employee name, number, home department, and time of the call.  This eliminates transcription errors and data replication.  

Quick Dial processing follows the same workflows as the Smart Call and Automated Shift Bidding modules.  Incoming call categories, menu options, and voice messaging can be configured to unique organizational requirements. Also, Employees have the option to connect directly with Scheduling Staff.

 


Are you looking for a way to quickly and efficiently route incoming calls from staff regarding shifts and scheduling queries? Contact us to see how Andgo can help you save time, increase transparency, and improve staff morale with our smart absence management software.

Andgo’s Annual Vacation Improves the Employee Experience.

Gone are the days of the endless paperwork associated with annual vacation. Not only have we found a way to alleviate the back and forth headache and hours spent shuffling requests for vacation, we’re keeping it green as well!

The Annual Vacation Bidding module is a seamless extension of the Andgo platform. Organizations are able to facilitate their entire annual vacation process online. Our quota-based system ensures you have the staff you need when you need them. It helps reduce payouts from unused vacation hours. This is all done while eliminating feedback cycles and reducing processing time.

The Annual Vacation module is customized to meet the needs of the organization, with as many or as little approval rounds required. The smart processing dashboard recommends optimal approvals and keeps staff in the loop with real-time updates. Employees receive instant insight into the likelihood of their vacation requests being approved before submitting. Once they submit their request, they can track the status of their requests as the rounds progress.

Employees receive notifications in the event their vacation requests are no longer valid (due to employees with more seniority selecting the same dates). This gives them a chance to update their requests before the round closes. This transparency reduces the feedback cycle and creates trust, which leads to higher stakeholder satisfaction. Also, the streamlined processing provides Managers and Scheduling Staff with substantial time savings.

Annual Vacation Highlights

In 2019, two organizations used the new module and saw significant efficiencies over their one-month vacation booking periods.

  • 13,500 employees participated
  • 37,000 vacation requests received
  • 1,600,000 vacation hours booked
  • 84% of top requests approved

An Andgo partner who used to manually process annual vacation found the paper-driven process to be incredibly labour intensive. The approvers would lock themselves away for weeks and work through all the submissions to ensure they awarded vacation in the proper order. Since partnering with Andgo, the approval process has been streamlined and it now takes hours, rather than weeks to complete. Andgo was able to reduce the costs of administering annual vacation while increasing employee satisfaction!

Check out more Andgo features here.


More about Andgo

Andgo Smart Absence Management was developed specifically for complex scheduling environments. By working with Andgo, you get the benefits of working with a knowledgeable and experienced team familiar with complex scheduling processes, procedures, and requirements.

Andgo’s Smart Absence Management system has created immense value for each of our clients through the automation of complex scheduling workflows. At Andgo we understand no two organizations are the same. With this in mind, we have designed our system to accommodate the unique requirements and use cases of your organization.

Follow us on Twitter for updates.

Improve employee engagement and mental health through enabling meaningful work

Automation and the use of AI to streamline and innovate scheduling practices not only create operational savings, but it also gives valuable time back to scheduling staff which can be used toward more meaningful work. In working closely with our Healthcare customers, we understand the demands on scheduling staff, and what aspects of the jobs and tasks associated with scheduling prove to be most challenging. 

The following outlines some of these challenges and showcases how Andgo’s solutions can help.

Avoid burnout due to repetitive manual tasks

Employee burnout is becoming more and more common amongst all types of organizations. Within the scheduling environment, burnout tends to occur when scheduling staff is overburdened with tasks, especially when they are remedial in nature. 

Andgo can help reduce scheduling staff burnout by automating a large number of remedial, often mundane, and manual workflows. This allows for scheduling staff to focus on more meaningful,  thoughtful tasks that create value.

Reduce stress

Healthcare scheduling can be a very stressful occupation. Stress factors related to scheduling usually stem from an overwhelming workload which can have far-reaching effects throughout the organization. When shifts are not filled, departments are not fully or appropriately staffed. This means that patients might not get the care that they require. The consequences of errors or missed workflows can be critical, which can cause a lot of stress for all healthcare workers.

Andgo’s ability to automate the absence management and employee communication process from end-to-end significantly reduces time-consuming jobs and tasks. This saves scheduling staff time and allows them to continuously add value.

Eliminate employee boredom and associated negative effects

Boredom in the workplace is often prevalent but rarely discussed. Causes of boredom in the workplace can result from having to perform repeated and remedial work, not finding meaning in tasks performed, and feeling burdened by work volumes. The consequences of workplace boredom are increases in workplace accidents and errors, depression, anxiety, and disconnection between the employee and the organization.

Andgo can help reduce workplace boredom in the following ways:

  • Automating workflows, eliminating a large number of remedial tasks and providing a clear and comprehensive processing dashboard for scheduling staff
  • Workflows can be customized to provide job differentiation rules allowing for employees to benefit from more variety in their shift work (ex. Inter-departmental shift variability)

Andgo’s solution to enable meaningful work

Andgo’s personalized dashboards allow employees to book shifts ahead of time. This reduces the number of days they submit for on-call or short-call shifts and reducing some of the associated risks.

Andgo’s Smart Absence Management system can help your organization improve employee engagement and mental health. Our solutions will help your employees avoid burnout due to repetitive tasks. Employees will experience less stress and boredom, and fewer negative side effects due to on-call and short-call shift scheduling.

Contact us to find out how our solutions can help your workforce management.

Broadcast helps the SHA mobilize a team to go North

Saskatchewan recently saw a spike in COVID-19 cases in a northern community. It was imperative to mobilize a team of healthcare professionals as quickly as possible to assist the Northern Inter-Tribal Health Authority in managing the outbreak. The Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) needed to get support to the north immediately, so they turned to Broadcast for help. 

Andgo’s Broadcast module allows mass one-way communication to be sent to a configurable group of employees via text message, email, or phone. The SHA was able to send a Broadcast to its users in search of volunteers to help the northern community. It only took one day for more than 100 individuals to answer the call and volunteer to travel north to assist in fighting the outbreak. The fast response to the Broadcast is a great example of Saskatchewan residents coming together as a community to combat COVID-19. 

We love seeing our systems being put to work and creating positive change. We’re just a small piece of the equation in the fight against COVID-19, and we couldn’t be more proud. This is why we started Andgo. We work hard to provide Healthcare industries with communication tools they need to keep their staff informed.

Read more about how SHA is increasing its support in the Northwest to contain COVID-19 here.

How Broadcast Helps

Clear communication with employees during this trying time helps eliminate uncertainty. Broadcast allows employers to control the messaging across all regions and workforces. It’s important to keep employees up-to-date with the latest news, especially in a situation where the status is changing every hour. Broadcast helps organizations by providing them with a way to community important information to a large number of employees at once.

We’re here to help

Check out our COVID updates for information on how we can help your organization throughout this time.

Follow us on Twitter for more updates.

Meaningful Work: What to do with the time savings from Andgo Smart Call?

Healthcare organizations using Andgo Smart Call find themselves with an abundance of Scheduling resources at their disposal. One partner previous to using Andgo Smart Call required 16 Scheduling Staff to fill the 300 unplanned absences that would occur within their organizations each day. After Andgo Smart Call was implemented, 4 Scheduling Staff were able to manage the workload of filling the 300 unplanned absences each day. Andgo Smart Call has freed up the time of 12 Scheduling Staff. Here are a few examples of the meaningful work they are now able to focus on since using Andgo Smart Call.

Strategically filling shifts with the right people

This sounds simple, and it is, but it does not make it any less important. When faced with constant pressure to find people to fill shifts, there are times where the only factor comes down to ‘are they willing?’. Anyone is better than no one, right? Not always so.

In times of high stress, short deadlines and upholding patient care, the decision is made to put any warm body who can work in the staffing holes. This has been known to cause issues, as the skill sets and abilities of any warm body may not meet the requirement of daily work. With the freeing up of resources by Andgo Smart Call, the ability to do a thorough staffing review for departments becomes available. Proper skill assessment to ensure there is a spreading around of advanced training through the department can be completed. You may need to train up more triage nurses on the ER, or train more hazardous material handlers in Housekeeping, to keep up with staffing demands.

Scheduling Staff will have more time available to review the type of employees interested in picking up a shift. They can review each applicant to make sure there is a good match and the right people are doing the right work.

Fill shifts further in advance

With today, tomorrow and the weekend needs managed, it is time to look to the future. Filling staffing needs well into the future reduces the complexity of filling staffing in the current workweek. Plan to fill the vacancy left by an employee, or fill the three-week education leave as soon as these needs become known. Andgo Smart Call gives breathing room in the present, to make sure you can breathe easy in the future.  

Working closely with the units  

Learn the specific scheduling trends, patterns, and characteristics in your unit. This will allow you to begin to anticipate the effects they have on scheduling requirements and begin to proactively work to fulfill them.   

Understanding of Organizational events

Have an important surgery coming up? Time to monitor staffing levels to ensure the right people are in the right position.  

Take the time to learn more about upcoming organizational events and the effects they will have on staffing requirements.  Work to proactively meet these needs before they show up on your doorstep.

Making sure the people get and take time off

Vacation payouts can become a huge liability if not properly managed throughout the year. The challenge is that you need time to manage, monitor and ensure each member of the unit is getting and taking time off.  With Andgo Smart Call you get time to do this. Additionally, you can work closely with employees to find vacation time that works for both them and the unit.

When it comes to automatically notifying employees of available shifts, Andgo Smart Call has been doing it for years.  Andgo Smart Call was designed and developed in partnership with Canadian Healthcare Providers. It is the insider’s solution to automating call-outs in Canadian Healthcare.

Want to see how we can help your organization?

Book a Demo

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Follow us on Twitter for updates.

Methods of Communicating to Employees

Manual callout processes are time and resource consuming. The manual callout process generally follows these steps:

  • Record absence
  • Build an appropriate call-in list
  • Phone first name on the call-in list
  • Ask the employee if they want to work shift
  • If yes, the process stops, if no call next employee
  • Repeat step 4 until an employee says yes
  • Inform the department of employee change

Not only is this method resource and time consuming on the person/persons who are performing it, but also for the department who is experiencing the absence of an employee, as they have the greater pressure to delivering quality care while short-staffed. The good news is, this pressure can be relieved by automating some, or all, of the above steps. More good news is the method of communicating unfilled shifts to employees can be done by not only a phone call, but also through SMS text messaging, email, and employee self-service through integrated websites. Even more good news, all these methods can communicate unfilled shifts to employees within a few minutes of each other and without the need for a staff scheduler, scheduling clerk, or employee to be on the call-out end.

Phone Call/Interactive Voice Recording (IVR)

As mentioned previously, with automated callouts, there no longer has to be a staff scheduler, staffing clerk, or an employee, on the callout end. This task can now be performed by the Interactive Voice Recording (IVR) system. The IVR computer-generated voice reads unfilled shift information to the employee from pre-written script and the employee has the option to:

  1. Hear the shift again
  2. Apply for the shift
  3. Move on to next unfilled shift

Employee responses are recorded through the phone call and automatically entered into the system.

Short Message Service (SMS)/Texting

As more and more people move towards SMS/texts as the primary means of communication, it is important for work opportunities to also be communicated via the same method. When looking at streamlining communication to employees, distributing information via SMS text messages is a must. The accessibility and convenience of SMS text messaging make it much easier to get feedback from employees on time-sensitive matters such as expressing interest in picking up a vacant shift. Additionally, there is an audit trail of interactions that can be easily reviewed at any time.

Email

Although email is not the fastest form of communication and not given the highest priority, not all unfilled shifts are urgent. Unfilled shifts, urgent or not, may be emailed to employees with all the shift details included. Links included in emails allow employees to be immediately directed to the employee self-service webpage to apply for the shift.  Which brings us to our next point…

Employee Self-service/Andgo Systems website

Employees may login to their self-Service website to view and apply for unfilled shifts of all priorities. This information is accessible to employees 24/7 via computer terminals, tablet devices and mobile phones. Integrated self-service systems can also display the employee scheduled work calendar, so they can see what upcoming shifts are on their schedule. Advanced systems provide employees with the option to apply for annual and general leave requests.

Four methods of communicating to employees. All Automated.

When unfilled shift data enters the system, the programming handles all the old methodology from the manual callout and contacts the employees with the unfilled shifts according to employee preferences. If your employee prefers texts over phone calls, then there is an option for your employee to select this preference. The employee is happier with being contacted for shifts via their method of choice. Conversely, the organization is happier because their scheduling staff/staffing clerks are now free to do more value-add work. Automating callouts saves time, resources and improves employee satisfaction with scheduling.

When it comes to automatically notifying employees of available shifts Andgo Systems have been doing it for years.  Manually communicating available shifts to employees is an error-prone, labor-intensive process that does not scale and costs healthcare organizations every day.

Find your Savings:  andgosystems.com/#calculator

 

Follow us on Twitter for updates.