Autumn 2021 online forum

Rotamap held its online Autumn forum on Friday 1st October 2021. The event provided an opportunity for rota coordinators, clinicians and managers to learn about the various new features that we've released over the past year, to ask questions of the team and to discuss their experiences with other users. We invited existing and prospective users of our CLWRota, Medirota, Central Reporting and Overview services to attend, welcoming both those from individual departments and those covered by our Trustwide or Surgery-wide Doctor Rostering arrangements.

Fran Mountjoy and Joel Moore opened the event by giving a history of Rotamap, from its inception as a small IT infrastructure company called ‘Campbell-Lange Workshop’ used by architectural firms, through its very first iteration of CLWRota, to where it stands today as a leading provider of healthcare rostering. They recapped major feature developments through the years, including integration of leave requests, mapping capabilities and our mobile app, illustrating how the service has evolved to meet the demands of its environment. Fran and Joel explained how our move to employee ownership allowed for flexibility and speed in decision making, crucial in helping departments, trusts and Rotamap alike to navigate the pandemic. You can read about our COVID-19 provisions here.

Georgia Hayllar and Stella Pitsillidou then gave a summary of key new features released over the past year. They covered improvements to rota management, leave management and support, including our newly-created Help site. Illustrating the purpose and functionality of each feature, the pair emphasised how important SaaS (software as a service) is to such iterative improvements. User feedback is not only welcome, but crucial in informing the development of such features.

We then introduced our first guest speaker, Dr Lee Walker, Consultant in Emergency and Specialist Medicine at University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust. Lee described the intricacies, benefits and challenges of implementing a single rota system across a vast 500 clinician, 11-specialty medicine department. His talk involved an honest discussion of the difficulties faced (namely ensuring clarity and visibility at such a large scale) as well as the popularity of the system. With anaesthetic and surgical departments traditionally constituting the majority of Rotamap’s clients, Lee was able to provide sage advice to medical departments considering implementing Medirota.

Watch Lee's talk

Watch Lee's talk

Rotamap’s team then provided demonstrations of our major ongoing projects. Jonathan Stickland and Rhiannon Ford began by giving a tour of the first iterations of Shifts and Time Calculations, illustrating their functionality and purpose. Shifts allows customisable start and end times to periods of work, while Time Calculations provides checks of the rota against specific sets of rules, such as the Junior Doctor working time directive. The pair then discussed the future of the project and iterations we intend to make in its next stages.

Illustration of Shifts functionality Illustration of Time Calculations

Luke Housego and Angus Mills followed this with a demonstration of the Submittals feature, which is available in Medirota and CLWRota. Submittals allows departments to enrich and validate absence records and extra work, which can then either be downloaded for central teams or sent on to the NHS Electronic Staff Record (ESR). They discussed how the feature can help claims to be processed faster and more accurately, streamlining the often time consuming paper-based administration of extra claims. Trusts can make use of our Central Reporting service to manage and sign off on claims from multiple departments.

Illustration of Submittals

Our second guest speaker was Dr Angus McKnight, Consultant Anaesthetist at Oxford University Hospitals Trust. Angus described his experiences in implementing and using Submittals, and how the feature has reduced the workload in processing extra claims. As well as emphasising the positive impact of Submittals, Angus discussed how he and his department have worked with Rotamap, providing constructive feedback on its functionality. In doing so, Angus not only gave advice to those considering using Submittals, but highlighted the importance of communication between users and the Rotamap team.

Watch Angus' talk

Watch Angus' talk

To find out more about our new features, including Shifts and Submittals,please refer to our CLWRota or Medirota help sites, or contact the Rotamap team.

The final talk of the morning provided an insight into how COVID-19 has affected departmental service provision in the last 18 months. Peter Barwick and Yannis Dourekas illustrated how departments have managed the unique challenges posed by the pandemic by comparing anonymised data. When examining the weekly throughput of clinical work against the same calendar year from before the pandemic, each department broadly fit one of four distinct trends of change to clinical delivery. Yet, the data revealed variation in the methods departments were utilising in their efforts to maintain consistent care, reminding us that no two departments have had identical experiences.

Watch Peter and Yannis' talk

Watch Peter and Yannis' talk

Benchmarking packs containing department-specific information will be distributed, along with accompanying material to help you interpret the information.

It was a pleasure to bring together new and existing users to reflect on what has been a challenging, yet rewarding year. We look forward to future events which will be advertised via our website, mailouts and through in-system notifications.

If you have any more questions or would like to attend future events, please contact info@rotamap.net. events