Time Tracking for Healthcare: Attain Maximum Efficiency with Minimum Hassle

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August 2023
Time Tracking for Healthcare: Attain Maximum Efficiency with Minimum Hassle

We all want the same thing when it comes to healthcare – for patients to be healthy, and for care providers to be at their best in order to save time and money and achieve superior outcomes.

Time tracking can help you accomplish both of these goals!

By gaining insight into how long it takes your staff to complete tasks, you will be able to identify potential areas of improvement and create a more efficient workflow. This will assist not only with reducing costs and overcoming those pesky budget constraints but also ultimately improving your patients’ lives.

In this blog post, we’ll discuss why time tracking for healthcare is so important and how it can save you lots of time and resources – which could directly lead to better team performance and higher-quality care.

Top Workforce Management Challenges in the Healthcare Industry

1.    Understaffing

Staffing shortages remain a pervasive issue in the healthcare industry:

  • At the beginning of 2020, there was a lack of as many as 150.000 registered nurses in the United States (Source).
  • During the first months of the COVID-19 pandemic, around 1.5 million healthcare jobs were lost as a result of restricting non-emergency services across the country. And though most of those jobs were returned during the following year, the number of healthcare workers in the United States is now 1.1% lower than in the pre-COVID era (Source).

Such a miserable state of affairs produces a plethora of problems that put a considerable strain on already stressed and fatigued healthcare providers who often work extremely long and irregular hours due to the very nature of their profession.

The widespread staff shortages only make the situation worse by increasing the risk of employee burnout and the frequency of medical errors. These, in turn, directly affect patient safety and the quality of care.

With fewer staff members, healthcare facilities cannot provide patients with timely assistance, exposing them to longer waiting times, delayed treatment, or the denial of access to care altogether. As a consequence, patients face a higher risk of more serious health complications – and that’s the sign of an absolutely dysfunctional and ineffective healthcare service that any reliable hospital must avoid at all costs.

2.    Limited funds

There are not so many hospitals in the world that can boast access to unlimited wealth. Most of them have severe budgetary constraints and are forced to carefully balance their commitment to providing quality care and improving employee well-being.

Budget constraints affect hospitals’ workforce management decisions in two major ways:

  • They restrict the recruitment and retention efforts: The demand for high-quality healthcare talent is on the rise, but with tight budgets, healthcare employers may not be able to offer competitive salaries or benefits packages that can attract and retain top talent. Thus, they experience higher understaffing and turnover rates and find it challenging to maintain a good quality of patient care.
  • They hinder the ability to implement innovative workforce management strategies: The cost of healthcare equipment, pharmaceuticals, and medical supplies continues to rise, making it even more difficult for organizations to allocate funds for their workforce’s needs. They may not have money to invest in employee training and development, or in technology that can streamline operations and enhance staff communication. This way, they miss the chance to drive employee engagement and productivity, worsening the problem with high attrition rates and staffing shortages.

3.    Varying patient loads

The unpredictability of patient flows creates a host of logistical issues.

Imagine trying to staff a hospital or clinic when you have no idea how many patients will walk through the door on any given day. It’s like trying to plan a party without knowing how many guests will show up. Sure, you can make educated guesses based on historical data, but there are always going to be outliers that throw a wrench in your plans.

But it’s not just staffing that’s a problem. Varying patient loads also make it difficult to prioritize care and ensure that everyone receives the attention they need.

When the waiting room is overflowing and the ER is at capacity, how do you decide who to treat first?

It’s a tough call and one that can have serious consequences if you get it wrong.

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How Time Tracking Software Can Help

While understaffing and limited funds are profound issues that require a comprehensive, system-wide approach, time tracking can actually help you minimize some of their negative consequences, optimize resources, and make the best use of what you got.

Let’s explore some of the main advantages it provides:

1.    Control overtime to prevent employee burnout

In the healthcare industry, employee burnout is a very real and pressing concern. Long hours and high stress can take a toll on even the most dedicated and resilient workers. To prevent burnout, it’s important to keep overtime in check – and that’s where time tracking comes in.

By keeping track of hours spent on various tasks and activities, you can get a clear picture of how your employees are spending their day. This lets you identify the patterns of burnout before they become full-blown crises, allowing you to intervene early and prevent further damage.

So, how do you use time tracking to minimize the risk of employee burnout?

  • Start by setting clear expectations for how long each task should take, based on the needs of your patients, the skills of your staff, and any regulatory requirements.
  • Ask employees to estimate tasks so that they have enough time to complete those tasks without feeling rushed or overwhelmed.
  • Use time tracking software to monitor how long it actually takes for each task to be completed.
  • Use the collected data to identify overtime and then adjust your schedules as needed (i.e., allow overworked employees to have extra days off, try to balance workloads, etc.).

Pro tip:

In high-pressure environments like healthcare, it’s unreasonable to expect your employees to constantly interrupt their workflow just to make a time entry for every completed task. So, you need to implement a time tracking method that matches your workplace situation well, and actiTIME has a variety of options to offer:

  • Traditional weekly timesheets and calendars for manual data entry (great for office employees and administrative workforce)
  • A handy browser extension for fully automated online activity tracking (perfect for telehealth activities)
  • A mobile app for tracking hours when moving around and offline (suitable for home care providers and other employees who are constantly on the go)

In addition to that, actiTIME features automated overtime tracking and informative reports that let spot the cases of overworking at glace – this can ultimately help you improve patient care and outcomes!

2.    Optimize resources to boost efficiency

With the constant pressure to provide quality care for patients while carefully managing expenses, it is important for healthcare facilities to have the right number of staff on hand at all times. Luckily, time tracking software can be of tremendous help in this regard too. It shows:

  • How much work is being done, and by whom
  • If there are any gaps in staffing that need to be filled
  • If certain employees are being over- or underutilized

This information lets you make sure that your team is working at its full potential and that no valuable resources are going to waste. Plus, it serves as evidence for more accurate task estimation and workload planning and empowers you to make data-driven decisions for promoting staffing efficiency.

This way, time tracking data reduces operational costs and improves the quality of care in the long run.

Pro tip:

To allocate resources effectively, you need to know not only how much time your team members will spend on work but also when they will be available or absent.

To help you collect this essential data on staff availability, actiTIME includes a basic leave management functionality. Plus, it seamlessly integrates with actiPLANS – an intuitive resource scheduling solution with a robust set of absence management features.

Leave management software

actiPLANS allows you to create multiple custom leave and work types and then schedule them in a few simple clicks on an easy-to-use visual timeline:

  • Your employees can check their accrued time off balances on their own and submit leave requests for any preferable dates.
  • Then, managers can approve these requests either manually or automatically and plan out employee shifts or other work activities, considering the already scheduled time off.
  • You can also run multiple time off reports to review the collected data in depth, figure out your workforce capacity, analyze absenteeism trends, etc.
Leave Time & PTO Report in actiPLANS

In combination with actiTIME’s workload management and time tracking features, actiPLANS is all you need to simplify and streamline resource scheduling and make more data-driven resource allocation decisions.

To check it out in action yourself, feel free to sign up for a free 30-day trial here.

3.    Streamline administrative tasks to save time and money

A multifunctional software like actiTIME lets you streamline administrative tasks by providing a single, integrated solution for time tracking, payroll, leave management, etc. This means less stress for managers, fewer errors across the board, fewer costs, and a more productive and motivated workforce.

Here’s how it helps:

  • Faster and error-free processes: An automated hour tracking software eliminates the guesswork that comes with manual time logging, providing an accurate and indisputable record of hours worked. This not only saves time for managers who don’t have to sift through paper timesheets or cluttered spreadsheets but also reduces the likelihood of errors and ensures that your team is paid only for the time they actually worked.
  • Payroll becomes a breeze: When time tracking takes place online, integration with payroll and accounting software is seamless. No more manual data entry, no more calculations with errors, no more late paychecks – your HR department will have more time on their hands to focus on more important things like improving employee engagement.
  • Employee self-service: By providing your employees with the ability to manage their own schedules and absences, you can reduce your administrative burden while empowering your staff to take ownership of their work schedules. This small but useful benefit can take you a long way toward improving employee satisfaction and reducing the likelihood of burnout and turnover.

4.    Keep track of staff-related costs and billable hours

When funds are limited and every penny counts, it’s critical to keep track of every second spent on the job, along with the corresponding costs incurred by your staff – not to mention the billable hours that drive your practice’s bottom line.

Here’s how it helps:

  • Manage cash flows more effectively: Staff-related costs include salaries, benefits, overtime pay, and other employee-related expenses. By monitoring them in real time, you can adjust your budget, optimize staff scheduling, and even detect areas where you may be overspending.
  • Ensure your healthcare practice is profitable: Billable hours refer to the actual time that healthcare professionals spend working directly with patients. By recording and analyzing such time, your practice can measure the productivity of your staff, understand which services are most profitable, and identify areas where you may be losing reimbursement by underbilling for services.
  • Make data-driven decisions: Accurately collected information on your expenses and profits allows for educated decision-making on how to better allocate resources and capitalize on growth opportunities. For example, if you discover that a particular service is generating significant revenue, you can invest more resources in marketing that service to attract more patients.

Pro tip:

actiTIME is the ultimate solution for managing staff-related expenses and hourly billings.

You can set hourly rates for each of your esteemed employees, keeping track of their salaries with ease. Moreover, actiTIME allows you to create billable and non-billable types of work, so you can keep an eye on the money earned by the hour and bill clients accordingly.

Billable amounts by day in actiTIME

With actiTIME, you’ll also have access to intuitive reports that break down your expenses and revenues, letting you easily compare them side by side. No more squinting at tangled sheets of data and wondering where the numbers are taking you – all the calculations are as easy as a single click of a button!


In light of today’s ever-evolving healthcare landscape, investing in a reliable time tracking system will not only increase workplace productivity but demonstrate good stewardship of the financial resources entrusted to your team.

By identifying locations where efficiency improvements are needed and determining how best to utilize staff members’ skill sets, you can elevate patient care while reducing spending – something sure to attract attention to your facility now and in the future.

Implementing actiTIME is an invaluable step towards achieving peak performance by reducing the amount of time spent on tedious paperwork while ensuring that the team gets adequately compensated for their time.

Ready to take action and amp up your healthcare organization’s efficiency? Start using actiTIME today!

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