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'Onerous': Sask. health workers say costly AIMS payroll and scheduling system misses the mark

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A multi-million dollar software system for Saskatchewan hospitals is causing headaches for health care workers again, according to the Saskatchewan Union of Nurses (SUN) and SEIU-West.

The Administrative Information Management System (AIMS) was designed to manage payroll, human resources, scheduling and finances for health care workers across the province.

The program attempted to launch in November of 2022 but was paused after issues such as failed staff scheduling, payroll time entry and other system defects became obvious.

“We were through the first time where they opened it up for four days and it was a complete disaster,” said Tracy Zambory, president of the Saskatchewan Union of Nurses (SUN).

For the second time, the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) began using AIMS for payroll on Friday. Zambory said some members reported they weren’t being paid properly, and other weren’t paid at all.

“We can respect the fact that this was like the second kick at the cat, and unfortunately, [it] has caused angst and upset in the membership,” she said.

She said the new program isn’t “user friendly.”

“It is very onerous to work through it. It takes a significant amount of time,” she said.

SEIU-West, which represents several types of health care workers, told CTV News its members have said they weren’t adequately trained on the system before launch, there are issues accessing payroll information, errors in scheduling, and issues getting supplies to the right facilities.

AIMS has been in development since 2018. Its purpose is to replace about 80 existing systems and improve data accuracy, according to the program’s website.

The project is expected to cost around three times its original budget at $240 million, according to a provincial auditor’s report from Dec. 2023.

The SHA did not comment on this matter and instead referred CTV News to 3sHealth, the organization overseeing AIMS.

“The launch has been a success overall,” the organization told CTV News in a statement.

“There have been some issues that are inherent in large system implementations, however support teams are in place and effectively handling issues related to any data errors, ‘how-to’ questions, and access issues.”

3sHealth said less than one per cent of employees did not receive a bank deposit, “which is the same as the pre-AIMs rate.”

It said the system will be implemented in phases with plans to have it fully implemented by 2025.

-With files from David Prisciak

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