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5 Ways HR Information Systems Can Save ASCs Real Dollars

Human resources information systems (HRIS) have the ability to save ASCs $50,000 to $300,000 a year, depending on the facility’s size and scope, according to a recent webinar hosted by executives at ASC human resources outsourcing company MedHQ.

The webinar, titled “How HR Information Systems Save Even the Most Cost-Effective ASCs Real Dollars,” hosted by MedHQ president Tom Jacobs and the company’s executive director of human resources, John Merski Jr., explained dollar-by-dollar how HRIS systems save ASCs that $50,000-$300,000 figure.

"There is big opportunity for costs savings in places that are often hard to see," Mr. Jacobs said. "Automating common HR tasks may save each employee 10 minutes a day—which may seem insignificant—but add up that paid ten minutes for each employee, every day, for a year and suddenly it’s a $20,000 difference. An HRIS can uncover those kinds of savings throughout the everyday HR operations of a surgery center."

Here are five key ways human resources information systems can save ambulatory surgery centers $50,000 to $300,000 each year.

1. General efficiency. HRIS offer the tools to increase efficiency, which can translate to $20,000 in annual savings at an average ASC. HRIS includes for each employee electronic document filing and complete employment history. Once this data is entered, it becomes easily searchable. "You no longer have to manually search for this information and this means hard dollar savings," said Mr. Jacobs.

The electronic capabilities of the system provide not only the opportunity to have necessary information within easy reach, but it also puts the data to work. An employee's history will include information such as upcoming recertification dates. An HR information system can have the ability to send email reminders. "The computer automatically notifies the employee, supervisor and administrator," said Mr. Merski. ASCs don't have to track down that information for each employee and worry about what to do when dates slip by unnoticed.

2. Employee insurance benefit bill management. A 9 percent error rate in filing employee insurance claims is typical in an ASC, but can add up to $10,000 in penalties from insurers each year, according to Mr. Jacobs. An HRIS keeps track of each employee's benefit package, the family members on each plan and how the plan has been used and can automatically remove terminated employees from those plans. This eliminates those errors and helps centers recoup that $10,000 annually in fees.

"Employees can see providers, beneficiaries, how they have paid, how much their employer pays and yearly costs," said Mr. Merski.

This information is not only helpful to employees, but it is essential for efficient ASC budgeting and planning.

3. Automated timekeeping and payroll integration. An ASC with 20 fulltime employees can waste five hours each day using a non-automated timekeeping system. The electronic, automated timekeeping and payroll system that is a function of HRIS can save up to $25,000 per year. Employees can see the amount of paid time off, sick time and vacation time they have available and already used on their employee access portal. They can also request time off, information which is safely stored in the system.

"Once an employee's time off has been recognized by the supervisors, the employee receives an email either approving or denying the requested time off," said Mr. Merski. "It also tracks PTO history, so administrators know if an employee called in six times in the last year because the death of the same pet."

4. Online training. An HRIS can save $250 per employee, $5,000 total at an ASC with 20 total employees, through online training tracking. Employees can enter when training is completed and this can be reviewed by supervisors and administrators.

"So much of what we need to do in regard to online training is record keeping," said Mr. Merski. The system offers specific areas of storage for all training documents and tracks the changes made to each document. The system will show which user made the change. The system places all training information in one location, which can be easily monitored.

5. Compensation management.
HRIS offers ASCs the opportunity to save anywhere from $25,000 to $100,000 a year through compensation management.

“"Raises and bonuses are often given without a thorough understanding of market rates," Mr. Jacobs said. “An HRIS gives an administrator the ability to see current market averages for compensation for each position in his or her ASC and set salary limits that prevent supervisors from handing out raises or bonuses that are out of line.”

Administrators can see when an employee's salary was changed, why and who changed it, eliminating any knowledge gap that may exist between supervisors. Any changes to salary information automatically transfers to payroll, meaning data never needs to be entered twice.

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