7 Challenges Facing Health Units and Why Sparkrock 365 is the Solution

A health care professional takes the pulse of an older gentleman with her stethoscope, highlighting the important of public health workers.

Health units serve as frontline agents in safeguarding public health. They work tirelessly to address community-specific needs, like disease prevention, health promotion, and outreach programs. Working together with care providers, community organizations, and the government, they aim to ensure the seamless delivery of healthcare services. 

In recent years, the Canadian health care system has faced several challenges. These challenges stem from a variety of sources and include:

  • changes in the delivery of services,
  • financial constraints, and
  • the high cost of new technology.

As a response to these challenges, the Ontario government is taking an important step by increasing provincial funding for public health agencies. Their goal is to build “a robust public health sector that has the support and resources needed to connect people to faster, more convenient care in their communities.”

How health units leverage these funds will determine their ability to meet the needs of their communities. Here are 7 common challenges faced by Canadian health units, and why investing in a purpose-built ERP solution like Sparkrock 365 is the solution:

Challenge 1: Reliance on Manual Processes

Health units have the challenge of a lot of manual work. Whether it’s keying in time sheets or looking through spreadsheets for financial information, manual processes are costly in time and money. In addition to being costly, manual processes are more prone to errors and can increase the likelihood of fiscal mismanagement.

Sparkrock 365 can automate time entry, employee scheduling, and financial reporting. Providing templates, auto-fill settings, and self-service capability help make scheduling more efficient. It also manages employee records, benefits, training, and performance appraisals easily. The integrated system seamlessly connects with the organization’s finances and reduces errors, duplicates, and delays. Automating tedious administrative tasks improves efficacy and mitigates financial risks.

Challenge 2: Multiple, Disparate Systems

Many health units use numerous systems. There may be one system for time entry, one for payroll, one for absence management, and yet another for finance. There might be an additional system for procurement, and then another for budgeting. Reporting for the ministry becomes complicated because the multiple systems don’t “speak” to each other. In addition to operating in silos, they also have to deal with different licensing requirements and manage users in all of these disparate environments. 

Sparkrock 365 integrates and automates finance, workforce management, and payroll management. It’s a complete business management solution. Integrated systems improve collaboration by allowing different departments to communicate with each other and share information in real-time. This improves efficiency, increases accuracy, and saves time.

Challenge 3: Complicated Programs

Health units contend with a variety of professionals, each with distinct payment structures and collective agreements. From casual nurses to long-term care providers, dentists to physicians, the payroll structures differ significantly. Some are part of the payroll system, while others operate under separate agreements. This adds layers of complexity to financial management that can be difficult for health units to grapple with. Further complicating the financial landscape is managing reimbursements for expenses. Tracking and processing all of these components is critical for maintaining financial transparency and ensuring professionals are duly compensated.

Sparkrock 365 can easily handle different pay structures, different pay periods, and multiple unions. It maintains hassle-free payroll calculations that can be customized to health units’ unique needs. This helps streamline business operations and makes managerial tasks less stressful. Ensuring an accurate, efficient payroll process frees up time for employees to focus on less mundane tasks. 

Challenge 4: Internal and External Compliance Requirements

Compliance is a critical cornerstone within the framework of Canadian health units. The need to adhere to both internal protocols and external regulations is a formidable challenge. Health units are subject to rigorous audits, from systems audits to ensure operational integrity to financial audits for transparency and accountability. Any lapse in compliance not only risks financial consequences but also undermines trust and credibility in the organization.

With accurate and up-to-date information, Sparkrock 365 is a single source of truth for health units. It enables effective auditing by establishing internal controls and parameters in addition to external regulations. This provides the ability to generate data insights and gain full transparency, all while adhering to strict industry standards.

Challenge 5: Resource Management

Increased government funding is a double-edged sword. It promises an opportunity for enhanced services and programs, but only if the funds are appropriately distributed. Balancing budgets, planning effectively, and allocating resources where they are most needed is a high-stakes endeavour. The diversity of public health programs adds more layers of complexity. Each program demands specific financial attention and requires careful budgeting, forecasting, and monitoring to guarantee the best use of available funds. 

Health units using ERP solutions like Sparkrock 365 can efficiently manage their financial resources. The system facilitates streamlined financial planning, budgeting, and resource allocation. It enables them to plan effectively and ensure funds are used optimally. This allows health units to make the most out of increased funding.

Challenge 6: Data Security

Canadian organizations have been recently plagued by ransomware attacks. Some have specifically targeted health units, resulting in ransom demands and compromising sensitive patient data. These attacks not only cause financial strain but also erode public trust. Rising cyber threats targeting sensitive health data demand vigorous security measures. 

Sparkrock 365 is a true cloud and SaaS application, significantly reducing risk by continuously upgrading and updating security. It operates on Microsoft's secure infrastructure, leveraging robust cloud security protocols. This includes multi-factor authentication, regular security audits, and sophisticated network security measures. Strong security is crucial for organizations seeking to protect their data and maintain operational continuity. 

Challenge 7: Getting Everyone on Board

Transitioning to a new system necessitates a culture shift within the organization. It’s not only about implementing new software, it’s transforming workflows, redefining processes, and getting every member of the health unit on the same page. Resistance to change can be a significant obstacle when migrating. Concerns about the learning curve, potential disruptions, and the perception of an increased workload can lead to reluctance in the transition. 

Anticipating these challenges, Sparkrock 365 comes with comprehensive training and support. This enables a seamless transition and ongoing success. The Sparkrock team is experienced in working with health units and understands the industry’s challenges. This approach helps health units not only implement a new system but transform their operations for enhanced effectiveness and productivity in delivering healthcare services.

Beyond Software: Sparkrock 365 as a Strategic Partner for Health Units

Sparkrock 365 is more than just a technological upgrade; it’s a tailored solution carefully crafted to address the unique issues facing Canadian health units.

  • Integrating finance, human resources, payroll, and scheduling in a single cloud-based application helps streamline organizational processes.
  • Sparkrock’s intuitive, easy-to-use user interface helps with a seamless transition and promotes widespread adoption.
  • Its proactive approach to security reinforces Sparkrock's role as a reliable and secure partner.

Sparkrock 365 doesn’t just offer a fix for current challenges, it presents an opportunity for growth. The system’s agility in adapting to evolving healthcare landscapes ensures adaptability and responsiveness. This enables health units to remain at the forefront of delivering impactful healthcare services.

Sparkrock is more than a software solution. It’s a strategic partner in driving efficiency, fostering growth, and bolstering the fundamental mission of health units: to advance the well-being of the communities they serve. 

Are you ready to see Sparkrock 365 in action? Schedule a demo today. 

Are you ready to spark change?

With Sparkrock 365, you'll have the tools to manage your finances and workforce more efficiently so you can focus on what you do best. Go from paper-based processes to intelligent online workflows, and access the data you need to make a real difference in your community.
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