City Health Care Partnership CIC (CHCP), the independent and not-for-profit social enterprise providing health and care services, has overhauled its expense process in favour of a new digital expenses solution to drive efficiencies.
Why did you decide to overhaul your system?
CHCP covers a wide geographic area employing just over 2,000 members of staff. With teams regularly travelling to homes, health centres and clinics, it is important that we carry out administrative tasks, such as logging mileage and expenses claims, efficiently and accurately.
We recognised that paper-based processes weren’t an efficient way to manage expense claims going forward. Not only did it present many challenges for employees and managers but with digitisation sweeping the healthcare sector, replacing manual practises also provided the opportunity to enhance reporting and drive efficiencies through data collection.
How have you been able to reduce the administrative burden?
In order to better understand cost drivers and streamline the expenses process, we selected a digital expenses solution from Selenity. The system was customised to reflect our expense policy and also integrated with our existing Electronic Staff Record (ESR). Only having one system to update was of huge benefit to our administrative staff, as it afforded them with greater efficiencies and time savings.
With data being exchanged between ESR and Selenity Expenses, the team has piece of mind that any updates to employee information, such as change of address are replicated across the board and information is always up-to-date. The implementation also coincided with a number of other digital transformation initiatives being introduced throughout the organisation. Mobile working is a key part of CHCP’s vision and the availability of Selenity’s Expenses Mobile app supports the new flexible approach to working.
What are the key factors to success?
Undoubtedly training. With much organisational-wide change taking place, we understood that training would be an important component when introducing and rolling out the new system to the wider service teams.
For a successful and smooth transition to the new system, we knew that we’d have to manage staff expectations from the beginning to the end of the change process. Ensuring that users were fully informed, comfortable in what they were doing and understood how to claim for the right items and amounts. We developed an electronic training package, in addition to delivering face-to-face training with a handful of the clinical service teams. We recognised that the expenses system is intuitive to use in itself but claimants would also need guidance and a little bit of support to start with.
Developing an electronic training package that linked into the ESR meant that staff members could easily login to the learning portal and access training. The interactive nature of the materials engaged new users and reinforced CHCP’s expenses policy—it transpired that claimants weren’t always reading the static training documents that were being sent out. By championing the solution and marketing training packages to the service teams and other colleagues, CHCP found that the use of the Expenses Mobile app increased and more employees engaged and used the solution.
How has accuracy increased?
By digitising the expenses process, we have seen a reduction in our average mileage costs. The implementation of the system has highlighted that our expenses policy had been open to interpretation by employees, largely when claiming for business mileage.
Having a system tailored to our needs has certainly raised the transparency of our procedures and reinforced the organisations expenses policy. Not only has it increased the accuracy of claims but also introduced an element of consistency. After the system went live we learnt that there had previously been variation in the methods used by employees to record journeys—with some using odometer readings and others calculating distance with online route planners.
Policy reminders and mileage verification in the form of GPS capture and postcode to postcode look ups, have helped to increase the consistency of mileage claims submitted by employees. For administrators these measures have meant claims are easier to review and approve and there is much less checking and chasing for additional information. The process has been greatly improved and ultimately, the new system has given us the ability to look at how we deliver services and if there’s a way to improve them and make them more efficient.
How has the new system helped with reporting?
Having a digital system provides us with a level of transparency that we just didn’t have before. As a team we can now carry out a large amount of reporting, the detailed information generated by the software gives us the ability to take that data and use it in a meaningful way. By capturing information in a central point, we’re able to continually use real-time information as a tool to help transform our organisation. Not does it help to drive decision making but also allows us to challenge some of the behaviours we’ve picked up on—you just wouldn’t get that from a paper form.
By working closely with other departments and understanding the changing technological landscape, the IT projects team were able to implement a solution which matched the organisations current and future needs. Not only did Selenity Expenses support our immediate plans to mobilise employees and introduce flexible working practices, it also allowed us to harness data in order to drive transformation and decision making.
For instance, we could identify patterns in the data and pass those insights onto operational managers. The transparency of the system has also helped us to field inquiries and compare statistics, such as looking at how the average mileage claims compare from one service to another. Harnessing data in this way has enabled us to provide effective value for money services, ensuring that the right people, are in the right places, doing the right things at the right time.