The mission of the Wyoming Department of Health (WDH) is to promote, protect, and enhance the health of all Wyoming citizens. Based in Cheyenne, WDH has four primary divisions: Aging, Public Health, Behavioral Health, and Healthcare Financing. The department oversees five healthcare facilities, including three operated by the Aging division, as well as public health programs for residents of all ages. The Behavioral Health division develops and oversees an integrated continuum of care focused on participants, collaboration, and evidence-based and outcomes-driven practices. The Healthcare Financing division includes Wyoming Medicaid, Kid Care CHIP, and the Medication Donation Program.
WDH employees filled out paper timecards monthly, typically writing in eight hours daily and not their actual time. Supervisors reviewed and approved timecards before sending them to HR/payroll, where staff checked calculations and keyed information into spreadsheets. WDH payroll staff spent 17,040 hours annually — including eight FTEs and roughly $300,000 in labor costs — to support this manual timekeeping and payroll process.
Seeking a way to streamline this process, WDH implemented a UKG® cloud-hosted workforce management solution. Using the automated solution, WDH has drastically reduced timekeeping and payroll processing time, increased staff productivity, and improved workforce management, a critical benefit considering the state’s budget deficit.
“Supervisors and managers are very happy with our UKG solution because they don’t have to figure out and calculate shift differentials. We got back 12,000 hours annually.”
CPM, Human Resources Administrator
Dramatic time savings delivers big productivity improvements
With manual timekeeping, a supervisor might have taken 10 minutes to review a simple timecard, followed by an HR/payroll staffer taking 10 minutes to enter the employee’s time. For a timecard requiring shift differential calculations, a supervisor might have needed an hour, followed by HR/payroll staff recalculating hours and differentials and entering the information into the payroll system.
“Supervisors and managers are very happy with our UKG solution because they don’t have to figure out and calculate shift differentials,” said Melanie Doolin, CPM, Human Resources Administrator at WDH. “We got back 12,000 hours annually.”
She added that HR/payroll staff also used to return 1,300 timecards every monthly pay period for corrections or missing signatures, adding further time to the process. Now, they contact approximately 50 employees and supervisors agencywide about inaccurate timesheets.
These efficiencies have reduced staffing needs. “Now we’re down to less than 1.75 FTEs to enter timecards, down from eight FTEs,” says Doolin. Extra HR/payroll employees have been reassigned to training, auditing, and other areas. The entire payroll process, which used to take two weeks to complete, now takes just 90 minutes, noted Allen Nuss, WDH’s UKG System Administrator, enabling payroll to be ready up to 10 days before the deadline.
Solution helps meet reporting requirements
All WDH employees — nurses, CNAs, doctors, housekeepers, and the director — use the UKG solution to log their time, including 380 exempt employees. About 20 of them will be reclassified as nonexempt to meet new Fair Labor Standards Act overtime requirements. Using the interface between its UKG solution and its human resource management system, WDH gathered six months of timekeeping reports to identify these employees. Although WDH may see a slight increase in overtime, the department is confident employees will be paid now for time worked.
At WDH’s long-term care facility, all minutes that employees spend assisting clients must be tracked to meet Payroll-Based Journal requirements for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Rather than dedicating a full-time employee to this annual task, WDH has found it far more efficient and cost-effective to utilize its UKG solution. “Now we just run an interface to produce a report, send it to the feds, and we’re done,” said Nuss.
Leave inflation curbed
When employees used paper timecards, they sometimes didn’t indicate leave time taken. “Now we can see if they didn’t meet their 40 hours that week, so they missed a punch or used leave,” said Doolin. “This has brought down leave inflation.”
For nonexempt employees who work less than 40 hours but who don’t input leave time, a shortfall cascade automatically adds leave time to bring their timecard to 40 hours, added Nuss. Employees are notified of timecard changes, which they must approve.
Improved morale supports retention
Using the UKG solution, WDH is more confident that employees are paid accurately for time worked, including overtime. Attracting and retaining in-demand healthcare employees is important, noted Doolin, and accurate, on-time pay plays a role.
Activities functionality projected to provide $2M savings
WDH plans to implement the UKG Activities module for multiple purposes soon. The department will track employee time at each facility to see which locations are using the most overtime and why.
The department also will use the module to track employee time spent working on federal grant programs and accurately charge this time to each program. Initial estimates indicate WDH will save $2 million in general funds that will be paid with federal funds because of accurate grant tracking.
“It will put employee time working on different grants into payroll automatically, adjust the budget structure, and charge the fiscal side the actual allocation,” explained Nuss. “It will show by employee how they are working on each grant.”
Time allocation data is critical for grant audits, as well as for when WDH approaches the legislature about funding programs. Detailed labor data will continue to help WDH make well-informed workforce management decisions.