The Memorial Health System is a not-for-profit health system located in southeastern Ohio. It includes two hospitals: Marietta Memorial Hospital which is licensed for 199 beds, and Selby General Hospital, a critical access hospital with 25 beds. It also provides a free-standing ER in Belpre Ohio, over 59 physician clinic offices, and outpatient support services. Education and professional development are vital ongoing elements of the organization’s mandate.
"We receive requests for education from many different areas of our organization," says Amy Hockenbrocht, Director of Educational & Professional Development at Memorial, "But we lacked a single, unified, request intake procedure. This led to communication challenges and duplication of requests. In addition, there was no standardization across nursing units, and no way to ensure that we had completed all education requests."
To address these problems Memorial Health Education Department employees entered their time into MicroSoft Outlook based on a standard categorization of work. Each team member spent about an hour a month tallying up and creating a report to show how their work time was spent. "It was a solution, but not an ideal one," says Hockenbrocht.
Knowing that the Memorial Health System Marketing Department was already using FunctionFox to track their time and products, Hockenbrocht wondered if it would work for the Education Department as well. "I sat down with the Director of Marketing, and she gave me a tour of the product and explained how her department used it," says Hockenbrocht, "then I contacted FunctionFox and had my team watch a virtual demonstration."
"I spent a lot of time looking into FunctionFox before purchasing," says Hockenbrocht, "And while there are many features I don’t use, the ones I do use have made a very positive difference to our department and to our whole organization."
"It took about a month for the Education Department to fully implement FunctionFox," says Hockenbrocht, "We began the process by doing some preliminary work about education requests, and establishing standard categories of work." After they started using FunctionFox, an employee from the Memorial Health Marketing team — who was very familiar with the system — transferred into the Education Department, and was able to suggest some tweaks and changes that tailored FunctionFox more exactly to the health system’s needs.
Hockenbrocht is pleased with the way FunctionFox has helped her organization. "It has allowed us to create an education request that can be open, closed, or placed on hold," she says, "We can see how many requests we receive every month, and although we don’t need to know how long it takes to complete a request, we do want to know if the request has been completed on time or is delayed. Once a month our team reviews all open projects and updates the status of each one. When we close a project, we send a satisfaction survey which has helped us improve our service."
With FunctionFox, each Memorial Health System Education Department employee now tracks how they are spending their time each day. They can charge time to specific projects, to various hospital departments, or to standard work of the Education Dept. We can use this time data to build graphs that help the organization’s administration understand and appreciate the important role of the Education Department. FunctionFox time data also helps the department to know whether workload is sufficient to require additional staffing. "It’s great to be able to calculate how much time needs to be allocated for a specific education program," says Hockenbrocht, "And to know that we have the staffing we need. In addition, because everyone on the team knows I monitor their work- time and post reports on productivity, time records have become more accurate, and productivity has increased."
Hockenbrocht appreciates how little time it takes to maintain FunctionFox. "Once a week the department reviews all submitted requests and I open and assign the request. Once a month I run a report of all open requests and the team reviews and updates them as needed. Once a quarter, I run reports and build graphs to show how we have spent our time."
Is FunctionFox hard to use? "Not at all," says Hockenbrocht, "The time records and reports are easy to run, and a FunctionFox rep is always available to help. For us, the best thing about FunctionFox is how it has transformed our previously chaotic process into an organized one, streamlined requests, and made it quick and easy to retrieve data — all while helping us track our time and ensure we are completing each request."
For more information about Memorial Health System visit www.mhsystem.org or call 740-568-5248.