Kronos - Macquarie University Hospital

By John Connole
Sunday, 02 September, 2012

When Macquarie University Hospital opened its doors on June 15, 2010, it became the first private hospital in Australia on a university campus, it’s also the country’s first fully digital private hospital, leveraging technology in pursuit of superior patient care, research and training.

In ordinary circumstances, the multifaceted nature of opening and staffing a brand new hospital would be enormously challenging. In the case of Macquarie University Hospital, a small management team recruited an entire hospital staff from scratch. Management then pooled this new team’s collective knowledge, in order to establish the processes and systems that were necessary to run this state of the art hospital. A further challenge facing the team was the introduction of a number of new technologies and processes, many of which had been untested in the Australian health market.

Building a hospital from the ground up
In order to operate a fully functioning, highly technical hospital, hiring staff became a top priority. Within three months 450 staff had been hired with approximately 500 staff today.

“We knew a manual timesheet system didn’t fit in with the ethos of a digital hospital,” says Sharon Kuhn, HR Director..

“We were also lucky in that, from the get-go, a great work culture had developed, where people were not intimidated by technology – they were excited and embraced the vision of Macquarie University Hospital pioneering a digital space.”

Macquarie University Hospital became a customer of Kronos on March 30, 2010, opting for Kronos’ time and attendance system, Workforce Central 6.1.

Kronos’ industry reputation played a large part in our executive opting for this technology. They service companies like Franklins, Arnott’s and BEA. This reassured us that the system could handle complicated enterprise agreements, large payrolls and a 24/7 operating environment.”

“The Kronos’ solution was also a great fit in terms of its interfacing capabilities with Macquarie University Hospital’s chosen HRIS system.”

Reaction of the staff
“Our Nurse Unit Managers have been forward thinking and proactive, right from the start. They were enthusiastic about this technology, which ultimately motivated their teams to embrace this automated time and attendance system,” says Kuhn.

Macquarie University Hospital opted for Biometric technology, which is fast becoming the standard for verifying employees’ identities in the data collection process.

“The biometric scanning gives managers instant access to when employees are on site. This information is automatically compared to the employee’s schedule, highlighting any discrepancies to managers.”

The benefits
Macquarie University Hospital started working on 24/7 rotational shifts from June 7, 2010. Manual time sheets were used whilst the Kronos system was being customised for the hospital. The Kronos system was introduced in late August 2010. The benefit of utilising manual time sheets over a short period, allowed the hospital to measure this new system against the old one. It was clear that the Kronos system influenced both accuracy and speed of processing.

“Our time, in terms of payroll processing has been more than halved,” says Kuhn. “By moving to Kronos, we improved not only the HR and payroll productivity, but also that of our managers by reducing manual administration of timesheets. This in turn provided staff with more time to work on other duties.”

“Metrics and reporting have definitely improved; we can access a report on labour usage rates and then use those rates as a part of our overall KPIs,” says Kuhn. “Accuracy has also improved, so we’re not subject to manual error on an individual basis, as the inbuilt automated pay rules—configured based on our Enterprise Agreements—ensure we get consistency. In addition we’ve got an effective payroll interface, so everything gets automatically uploaded from Kronos into our HRIS.”

Now for Stage 2
With time and attendance bedded down, Macquarie University Hospital is moving to a second stage of this project, with the introduction of Workforce Scheduler, an automated labour scheduling solution helping managers create schedules that align labour with anticipated demand.

The drive to deploy Workforce Schedule came from looking at where else the Kronos systems could be utilised to automate operations in a bid to reduce the time that management spends on manual entry issues. For example, if staff currently spend up to four hours a week on rostering, how much time would automating the system save? And how can that time be invested back into other valuable activities for the hospital?

For more information, contact 1300 132 742 or go to

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