Customer Story

Community Healthcare System Drives Innovation with UKG Pro Workforce Management

  • Improves employee engagement and satisfaction through self-scheduling tools that let staff select open shifts and swap shifts with manager approval

  • Saves nurse managers significant time with employee self-scheduling, giving managers more quality time with staff, patients, and families

  • Provides insight into overtime and incentive pay with real-time data and reporting, resulting in ongoing reductions in these expenditures

Community Foundation of Northwest Indiana is a nonprofit organization that oversees Community Healthcare System, which comprises three acute-care hospitals, a specialty rehabilitation hospital and a continuing care retirement community. The organization employs 8,000 people across its sites.

By partnering with UKG, Community Healthcare System has achieved remarkable results, including:

spent weekly by nurse managers to maintain and balance schedules
saved, on average, in overtime by each department every pay period

Community Healthcare System managers found scheduling the organization’s 8,000 employees extremely arduous using paper schedules. The healthcare system’s 100-plus advanced scheduling departments spent, on average, 10 hours creating schedules, with more than 1,000 hours devoted to this activity for each schedule. In patient care units, this time-intensive scheduling task pulled nurse managers away from patient care duties.

With a longtime mission of providing high-quality patient care in the most cost-efficient way, Community Healthcare System found patient care staffing challenging at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic and after. As it strived to maintain staffing ratios to ensure high-quality patient care and safety, its incentive and overtime pay increased significantly.


For greater scheduling efficiency, Community Healthcare System wanted all staff on the same automated scheduling solution and six-week schedule period. The organization sought a solution that also provides access to real-time workforce data and reporting to help supervisors better manage patient care staff, including having insight into pay incentive use.

After reviewing a number of solutions, Community Healthcare System selected UKG Pro Workforce Management™, with employee self-scheduling functionality that empowers employees to determine when they work and that also easily integrates with employee timecards.

“We had a few different options and demos, and the [nurse] managers overwhelmingly chose UKG,” said Melinda McBride-Plawecki, Administrative Manager at Community Healthcare System.

The healthcare system transitioned employees from paper schedules to UKG Pro WFM, including giving the 3,000 employees working in patient care services access to self-scheduling functionality, with plans to provide self-scheduling to the rest of employees. The organization’s Workforce Optimization team created self-scheduling calendars, dynamic notifications, and on-site training to leverage the full power of self-scheduling functionality.

“We look forward to expanding our knowledge about reporting and analytics to continue to maximize our investment in UKG Pro Workforce Management.”

Melinda McBride-Plawecki

Administrative Manager


“Employees love self-scheduling,” McBride-Plawecki said. “They love having a say in their schedule. It helps with their work-life balance.”

They can select from the open shifts available and can see when others are scheduled, empowering them to choose the same shifts as those they enjoy working with. Employees also like being able to swap shifts in the solution, with manager approval.

As soon as the shift-request period opens, employees take advantage of self-scheduling. Their autonomy and flexibility in creating their own schedules also positively impacts patient care.

“If employees are working the schedules that they want, they enjoy coming to work,” said Kathy Rants, Payroll Manager at Community Healthcare System. “If you enjoy being at work, you’re taking better care of your patients, and there’s just overall happiness.”

Community Healthcare System is seeing thousands of open shifts requested, which is saving nurse managers significant scheduling time. They now are spending approximately two to three hours per week balancing and maintaining their unit schedules. Following a pilot program using text messages to alert staff about open shift availability, and staff responding and accepting shifts via text, this time may further be reduced.

“Employee self-scheduling is making the lives of nurse managers easier,” Rants said. “They put the basic schedule in and let staff pick up the shifts they want. They don’t spend as much time on scheduling now.”

“They’re getting back time they would otherwise be using scheduling people manually on paper,” added McBride-Plawecki. “They’re spending more time with their employees at a different level and spending time with patients and their families. They’ve gained a lot of time. It’s very valuable to them.”

With self-scheduling, managers identify gaps in their zones and quickly fill assignments to maintain a high level of patient care. They are able to maintain this level of care while also better managing incentive pay and overtime with UKG Pro WFM.

“We’ve focused on providing senior leadership and department managers with dataviews, reports, and embedded analytics, giving them real-time tools to manage their units and make informed decisions,” McBride-Plawecki said.

Within patient care service units, Community Healthcare System has been using solution dataviews and dashboard tiles to gain insight into each department’s incentive pay and overtime use. UKG® reporting and analytics tools monitor both. Incentive pay is tracked via incentive pay codes, and home page tiles and dataviews provide easy access to data for filtering and sorting. After a year of gathering and monitoring this data, the healthcare system has seen ongoing reductions in incentive pay and overtime hours.

The organization also created an Hours Under Full-Time Equivalent dataview to determine which employees were not meeting benefit-eligible criteria for full-time employees. Using this information, the organization updated the FTE status of more than 50 employees, resulting in salary and benefits cost savings.

In addition, each week managers see which employees haven’t met the FTE requirement and can schedule these employees to fill open shifts, instead of scheduling staff earning overtime. With this change, departments are saving an average of five hours in overtime each pay period. This FTE information also informs managers about whether or not additional staffing is needed.

To identify FTE leakage across departments and unnecessary premium time paid because of schedule mismanagement, Community Healthcare System has developed Incidental Overtime reports as well as Projected Overtime and Overtime Trend dataviews. The benefits realized with this data have encouraged the leadership team to investigate using additional UKG reporting and analytics tools, including Healthcare Productivity and Data Hub.

“Providing managers with the real-time data they need to oversee their units effectively and efficiently continues to be the goal and focus of our Workforce Optimization team,” McBride-Plawecki said. “We look forward to expanding our knowledge about reporting and analytics to continue to maximize our investment in UKG Pro Workforce Management.”

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