Wednesday, April 2, 2008

After Hours Pay for IT Professionals

I was recently asked how we fund "on call" pay and subsidize remote access for our IT staff.

At BIDMC, our policy is that we have standardized on call pay for those who carry a beeper and support our critical systems.

We reimburse some IT employees for half of their monthly home internet service cost (approximately $30/month) if deemed necessary to do their job, assuming that only 50% of a home internet connection will be used for business. Also, we reimburse cell phones and Blackberries by adding the amount of an appropriate monthly plan (decided by their Director/Manager) to employee paychecks. Employees pay the bills themselves, eliminating the administrative burden of reimbursements.

I asked my IT colleagues at other hospitals in Boston for permission to publish their policies.

At Boston Medical Center, they provide on call pay but employees must pay for their own internet access. They previously funded internet access, but dropped internet reimbursement as home connections became more ubiquitous. They are currently paying for a "team" on call cell phone but may ask employees to use their own phones in the future.

At Partners Healthcare, they currently pay for on call support and offer a stipend to staff to cover their home internet access. They are investigating the best practices at other healthcare IT organizations.

At Children's Hospital of Boston, they have two hourly rates for on call support. The higher rate (referred to as Tier I) is paid to on call staff who are paged more frequently. The second rate (Tier II) is paid to anyone who participates in the on call rotation but is paged infrequently. Children's pays for home internet access of on-call staff who frequently log in remotely to perform systems management.

As IT staffing becomes increasingly virtual, it's clear that our policies on paying for beeper call, remote access, mobility technologies, and home office equipment will evolve.


Unknown said...
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Rob Culbert said...

Hi John,

It was a pleasure to meet you yesterday of all places on a plane heading back to Boston from Orlando. For those of you who might wonder if John really writes his own blog, I can personally vouch that he was writing and posting this article during our flight. Great topic!