Blog | HR |
8 Min Read
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June 24, 2024

How HCM Software Solutions Transform the Healthcare Industry

by Morris Isaacson

Long-term care providers and nursing homes are still feeling the effects of the pandemic — nursing homes still sit below their 2020 employment levels by over 14%. Front-line workers are still battling burnout while administrators scramble to navigate labor shortages. 

Human capital management software (HCM) helps to address these issues. This technology empowers nurses, streamlines the administrative process and helps to maintain regulatory compliance to keep workers and patients safe. 

In this guide, you’ll learn about the HCM software solutions tailored to meet the unique needs of the healthcare industry, including: 

What is HCM software?

HCM software solutions offer a comprehensive suite of applications designed to manage and optimize a healthcare organization’s entire workforce. These platforms help human resource teams navigate activities like recruitment, onboarding, payroll, benefits administration, time and attendance management, and performance management. 

 

HCM software systems keep the principles of human capital management in mind — maximizing your employees’ skills, experience and potential. 

Essentially, HCM platforms manage the entire employee lifecycle, from their first day to their last, while aligning human resources strategy with business objectives.

What does HCM software do?

By integrating these various aspects of employee management into a single system, HCM platforms offer businesses a unified view of their workforce, enabling more efficient and informed decision-making.

 

An HCM platform aims to streamline human resource processes, reduce administrative workload and improve the overall employee experience. This is achieved by automating routine operations to speed up the following business processes: 

Costs Control
Payroll

Automates payroll processes, including tax calculations, compliance and direct deposit options, specifically tailored to address complex healthcare industry pay rules.

Human Resources

Offers tools to manage employee records, streamline the recruitment process, handle the onboarding process, administer employee benefits, and ensure compliance with healthcare-specific regulations.

Time and employee attendance

Provides mobile-friendly timekeeping solutions, flexible scheduling tools, calculates overtime and shift differentials accurately and generates insightful reports for labor cost analysis.

Data Collection
Performance management

Sets employee goals, tracks progress and undergoes performance reviews and evaluations.

This is a high-level view of how HCM software solutions assist organizations with all personnel-related activities. But how do these platforms help address the needs of frontline employees and administrators in the context of LTC and nursing homes?

How HCM solutions meet the needs of healthcare organizations

The Economic Policy Institute (EPI) produced a report outlining the difficult state of affairs in the residential-long term care space — from high turnover rates and burnout to reduced access to benefits. 

 

Here’s how HCM platforms can help address some of the major challenges outlined in this report: 

Prevent employee burnout

Employee burnout is a significant issue in healthcare, leading to turnover and affecting care quality. Recent studies show that 43% and 50% of nursing care aides experience emotional exhaustion and cynicism, respectively. 

 

HCM software addresses this challenge by offering tools for HR management, promoting work-life balance and recognizing employee contributions. Even on a day-to-day level, the user-friendly nature of these platforms reduces administrative duties to prevent burnout.

Efficient management of employee hours

According to the EPI report, workers in longer-term care and nursing home environments are likelier than the national workforce to work overtime or hold multiple jobs. With the rise of cross-training, this can even occur within the same organization — a nurse may pick up administrative or food service shifts. 

 

HCM software solutions with time tracking and payroll core HR functions can automatically calculate hours worked and pay rate, so there are no discrepancies. It can even use GPS tracking so you know your staff only clock in when they reach their location. 

Assurance of regulatory compliance

 

Compliance with healthcare regulations and labor laws is a complex, ever-evolving challenge. Anytime patient care is involved, healthcare incidents may occur — and these events require immediate reports. 

 

HCM software helps long-term care and nursing home providers comply with federal, state and local regulations by automating compliance-related tasks and maintaining up-to-date records. This compliance reduces the risk of costly penalties and ensures that facilities provide safe, high-quality care for patients. 

Streamlined recruitment and training 

 

The report from EPI also identified a significant difference in labor resources between nursing homes and long-term care facilities due to patient needs; the former requires more registered and licensed practical nurses, among other positions. 

Unfortunately, the demand for this skilled labor is also high. 

 

Using the talent acquisition tools that come with top HCM software, like automated job board posting and advanced screening tools, administrators can spend more time assessing respondents to find the right talent and help with professional development. Plus, with automated onboarding, your new hires can move quickly through the training process and get into the action. 

Expanded benefits access and administration

 

The EPI report also found that nursing home staff are less likely than the average worker to access benefits like retirement savings plans (24.7% compared with 35.1%) or have health insurance (45.4% compared with 50.7%). These financial lacks create a financial burden that feeds into burnout and increases the likelihood of turnover — not to mention unhappy employees. 

 

Many HCM tools include benefits administration software as a part of their HCM software solutions to make it easier for administrators to oversee insurance, retirement savings plans and other benefits across the entire frontline workforce. They also help with open enrollment monitoring and coordinating coverage for furloughed employees. 

Tracking absences and leave

 

Managing absences and leave efficiently is crucial for long-term care and nursing home providers to ensure continuous patient care. It’s also important, considering many LTC and nursing home staff work across multiple locations. 

 

HCM platforms also help track and manage employee absences, sick leave, and vacation time effectively. This feature allows administrators to anticipate staffing needs, arrange for replacements or adjust schedules in advance, minimizing disruptions in patient care and maintaining operational efficiency.

Precise budgeting and resource allocation

 

For healthcare organizations, budgeting and resource allocation are essential for sustaining operations and improving care quality. 

 

HCMs also help forecast labor costs and allocate resources where they are needed most. By providing detailed analytics and reporting tools, the platform aids in making informed financial decisions, assists facilities in managing their budgets effectively and ensures that funds are directed toward areas of greatest impact.

By automating HR processes and centralizing data, HCM solutions free up care provider admin from manual tasks. This allows them to focus on strategic decisions like improving the hiring process and retaining staff in a compliant manner. At the same time, they also offer employee self-service portals that frontline workers need to feel empowered and supported during a difficult time for the industry.

Criteria for evaluating HCM software solutions in healthcare

There are a lot of HCM platforms out there — over 90, according to G2 — but only a fraction of them tailor to healthcare providers. 

 

Before delving into the specific software options, it’s important to understand the key criteria for evaluating HCM solutions for your healthcare business. 

 

Here are the main criteria for evaluating a healthcare HCM:

Scalability

A top consideration for any growing organization is the ability of the HCM software to scale with the business. It should accommodate the constantly changing workforce that care providers experience due to labor shortages and high turnover.

Integration capabilities

HCM software solutions should easily integrate with operation-critical platforms like electronic health record (EHR) and medical record (EMR) systems to ensure a smooth data flow and avoid redundant work.

 

It’s also important to find a platform that integrates with (or replaces) your current time tracking and payroll platforms so you can provide a smooth digital experience for your employees. 

Compliance and reporting

Compliance with labor laws, tax regulations and reporting requirements is crucial. In the healthcare space, you need an HCM built to accommodate industry-specific regulations like:

 

 

The software should provide robust reporting and analytics to help organizations stay compliant.

Employee self-service

Employee self-service (ESS) capabilities empower frontline staff to access information when they want so they can complete HR-related tasks independently. ESS reduces administrative tasks and increases the sense of control workers have over everything from time tracking to benefits administration.

Data security

Given the sensitivity of HR data, robust security features are a must for any healthcare HCM software solution. Data encryption, access controls and compliance with data protection regulations should be part of the package.

Mobile accessibility

In a world where remote work is increasingly prevalent, mobile access to HCM software is essential for employees to manage their tasks and enable scheduling on the go. Now that you have a better idea of the core features to look out for in your HCM, here are some other important factors.

Choosing the right HCM software solution for your organization’s needs: other factors to consider

When selecting HCM software solutions, scalability and integration capabilities are crucial factors to consider. Your human capital management solution must be capable of growing with your organization and adapting to changing needs.

 

Additionally, it should integrate with your existing systems to avoid workflow disruptions. By prioritizing these criteria, you can ensure a smooth implementation and maximize the efficiency of your HR processes.

 

Consider the following human-centric factors when choosing your HCM solution:

Automated employee record management

Look for a system that streamlines the record-keeping process, from onboarding to offboarding, and reduces manual tasks like data entry. Healthcare organizations typically rely on paper-filling systems that are easily misplaced — digitalizing this process reduces manual work and eliminates error. 

Pinpoint areas to analyze

A human-centered HCM solution should be user-friendly for employees and managers. It should empower individuals to navigate the system easily, whether they’re scheduling patient appointments, managing shifts, or accessing employee benefits. 

Integration capabilities

Compatibility with your existing systems is crucial. It’s not just about tech compatibility but seamlessly integrating the software into your daily operations. This makes it easier to access electronic health records (EHR), billing systems, and patient management tools.  

Premium assistance

White-glove service is a type of premium assistance that involves extra care and attention to detail. It’s often tailored to the customer’s needs and expedited. Quickly addressing user challenges is particularly important in healthcare, where skilled labor is quick to turn over if a situation doesn’t meet their needs. 

Support and training

The human element goes beyond technology. Adequate support and training ensure your team makes the most of the software., with specialized training for healthcare compliance, patient data protection, and secure communication.

ACA compliance

Ensure your system can efficiently handle the intricacies of Affordable Care Act (ACA) regulations, including tracking employee hours, managing benefits eligibility and facilitating accurate reporting. This is particularly important in healthcare because it can attract and retain talent with competitive benefits. 

Comprehensive compliance and reporting

Ensure your system can efficiently handle the intricacies of Affordable Care Act (ACA) regulations, including tracking employee hours, managing benefits eligibility and facilitating accurate reporting. This is particularly important in healthcare because it can attract and retain talent with competitive benefits. 

How to choose your HCM software solution: a checklist 

Selecting the best HCM software solution depends on your organization’s unique requirements, size and industry. Here’s a quick checklist to ensure you’re on the right track in selecting the best software for your healthcare business:

Ensuring compliance and data security with HCM software solutions

HR software solutions have become crucial for organizations to manage human capital effectively. One of the key aspects that cannot be overlooked is compliance with HCM regulations. 

 

With the advent of General Data Protection and Regulation (GDPR) in Europe, data protection has become a top priority for HR system providers across the globe. This is even true for areas where the GDPR doesn’t apply, like America. 

On the healthcare front, finding an HCM built with stringent regulations such as Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is crucial — not to mention other key laws like the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)

Specialized compliance features

Tailored HCM software for healthcare integrates specialized compliance features to address industry-specific regulations, ensuring robust adherence to HIPAA, FLSA and other pertinent laws.

Built-in GDPR and data protection

Even though the GDPR has increased awareness surrounding secure data handling, not every HCM is built with privacy in mind. The right healthcare-focused HCM solution should prioritize data protection measures to safeguard sensitive personal identifiable information (PII) and protected health information (PHI) to mitigate the risk of regulatory non-compliance.

Multi-state workforce management

Advanced HCM software navigates the complexities of varying state regulations for healthcare organizations with operations across multiple states. Focusing on aspects like payroll, taxes and benefits administration across different regulatory environments is much easier when your systems account for multi-state management.

 

Compliance missteps in healthcare can have severe consequences, ranging from substantial fines to reputational damage. HCM software providers serving the healthcare sector must prioritize features that efficiently manage employee data and guarantee compliance with healthcare-specific regulations.

Future HCM software solutions trends:

Cloud-based HCM

Mobile accessibility

Unified HR ecosystems

Recruitment, onboarding, and applicant tracking

AI employee engagement

Predictive analytics

Strategic workforce planning

Cost optimization

Talent management

The future of HCM software solutions: 9 trends to watch

As the landscape of human capital management (HCM) evolves, healthcare organizations face new challenges and opportunities. 

 

The advancement of HCM technology, including cloud-based solutions, mobile accessibility and AI-powered tools, is transforming how healthcare businesses manage their workforce. These technologies offer unprecedented flexibility, efficiency and insights into employee management, making them indispensable for modern organizations. 

The integration of predictive analytics further enhances strategic planning and talent management, enabling data-driven decisions that align with organizational goals. 

As we look to the future, these trends in HCM software promise to further streamline HR processes, improve employee experiences and optimize workforce productivity.

HCM technology advancements

HR technology is continuously evolving to meet the ever-changing needs of modern businesses. Here are several trends shaping the future of HCM software solutions in the healthcare space:

1

Cloud-based HCM

The adoption of cloud-based HCM solutions is rising. Cloud platforms provide flexibility, scalability and accessibility, making them an ideal choice for healthcare organizations that typically rely on outdated programs or spreadsheets for their HR processes. Cloud platforms help nursing home and LTC providers streamline HR processes while reducing IT infrastructure costs.

2

Mobile accessibility

Modern HCM systems and features are designed to be accessible on smartphones and tablets. Now, care providers who used to rely on kiosks, bulletin boards and other outdated methods for HR activities can give their employees a better user experience.

3

Unified HR ecosystems

The future of HCM is integration. These powerful HR systems help LTC and nursing home administrators centralize all their employee data. With complete access to recruitment, onboarding, payroll, benefits and performance management data, administrators can make more informed decisions about hiring strategies and employee wellness programs.

AI-powered HR solutions

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is revolutionizing healthcare practices. AI-powered solutions are enhancing the employee experience and HR operations in numerous ways:

1

Recruitment, onboarding, and applicant tracking

AI-driven tools transform the recruitment process by automating candidate screening, thus saving time and resources. Chatbots and virtual assistants streamline onboarding processes, offering real-time assistance to new employees. This technology removes frustrating and lengthy administrative processes. 

2

Employee engagement

AI can analyze employee feedback and sentiment, helping HCM software solutions to identify and address engagement issues. This engagement is critical for a residential-long term care industry experiencing massive burnout issues. It also enables personalized learning and development plans, catering to individual employee needs.

3

Training and development

AI not only improves engagement but also unlocks a personalized approach to training and development. AI-powered systems can analyze individual data on everything from time and attendance to on-the-job performance and suggest personalized development opportunities. Given the labor crunch in the healthcare space, this can help HR departments build up a stronger workforce from within.

Predictive analytics in workforce planning

Predictive analytics is gaining prominence in HCM as organizations recognize the value of data-driven decision-making. Here’s how it’s influencing workforce planning:

1

Strategic workforce planning

Predictive analytics provides insights into future workforce needs, enabling businesses to align their human capital with strategic goals. It helps in identifying skill gaps and planning for succession.

2

Cost optimization

By analyzing workforce data, organizations can optimize labor costs by ensuring they have the right number of employees with the right skills. This results in a leaner and more efficient workforce.

3

Talent management

Predictive analytics revolutionizes talent management by identifying high-potential employees and suggesting development opportunities. This ensures that organizations nurture and retain their top talent.

The future of HCM software in healthcare is bright, with innovations aimed at simplifying complex HR tasks and enriching the employee experience. 

 

By embracing these trends, organizations can enhance their HR operations, making them more agile and better equipped to meet the demands of the modern workforce. As the sector continues to navigate rapid technological advancements, staying ahead with the latest HCM solutions will be vital to achieving long-term success and sustainability.

  • HR Support Center

    Knowledge, articles, compliances, policies, forms, and more.

  • Time-Off Management

    Eligibility-based requests, plus flexible managerial tools.

  • Leave Management

    Set entitlements with parameters, and e-process absences.

  • Performance Tracking

    Review triggers, e-communication, rate changes, and more.

  • Incident Reporting

    Electronically submit, track, and update incident reports.

  • Employee Discipline

    Record, track, view, and print disciplines with e-signatures.

  • People Skills

    Insightful support from Empeon's own HCM specialists.

  • Obsessive Privacy

    All data secured with industry-leading encryption standards.

Embrace the power of Empeon as your HCM software solution

As you now know, navigating the HR industry in healthcare is quite a bit more involved than other sectors. HCM software solutions need to come equipped with the tools to: 

  • Address high levels of employee burnout and turnover
  • Maintain compliance with regulations like the ACA and FLSA. 
  • Reduce administrative errors and streamline manual processes through automation

With Empeon as your HCM solution, your company can streamline its processes, enhance employee engagement, improve productivity and, ultimately, achieve organizational goals.  

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to transform your healthcare operations and harness the potential of your business today. 

 

Schedule a demo or get in touch with our industry experts today.


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