An estimated 1.5 million healthcare jobs were lost in the first two months of COVID-19 as Health systems attempted to restrain the novel coronavirus by temporarily shutting down clinics and limiting non-emergency services. Though many of those jobs have since returned, healthcare hires have stayed below pre-pandemic levels, with the number of employees down by 1.1%, or 176,000, annualized to February 2020, per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Staffing shortages in healthcare are a complicated and longstanding problem that impacts the safety, quality, and productivity of patient care as well as the experience and retention of healthcare employees. The need for healthcare workers also continues to grow as the population ages and chronic illnesses become more prevalent. Health systems must have plans and strategies in place to mitigate staffing shortages and to also enable creative staffing solutions.
Enter TeamBuilder, a team of healthcare, data, and technology experts on a mission to make staff’s lives easier and less stressful. Staffing shortages are the top concern of every healthcare executive right now, and TeamBuilder acts as an execution platform to impact both the top and bottom lines
Until now, staff scheduling in ambulatory care has been done based on historical rules of thumb, fixed ratios, and provider preference without considering volume or workflow data. Moreover, scheduling is typically done using spreadsheets, paper, and email. Significant advisory work in this area over the last 20 years has shown that traditional staffing approaches in this space are incredibly inefficient and are often poor representations of the actual staff needs for the unique circumstances of each health system—in regard to both volume/demand and workflow.
Leveraging Data Science
After two decades of consulting, David Howard, Founder & CEO, launched TeamBuilder to solve the ongoing staffing issues that health systems face. “If it’s broken, fix it” is a theme the team regularly discusses and the team is empowered to break the status quo of how things have historically been done.
TeamBuilder leverages leading data science to predict demand and consider clinic-specific constraints and workflow to recommend the optimal staff schedule with precision down to the hour.
How do they do this?
Physicians and practice managers are excellent at making decisions when they have access to accurate data, but the problem in this arena is that there has been an absence of volume and workflow data to drive decision making; nor has there been a way to create a schedule that aligns staff demand with supply. TeamBuilder is able to prompt leaders towards a better staff schedule that may not have previously been clear. This data-driven approach has helped to reduce costs while at the same time improving the staff experience.
For A Better Future
TeamBuilder’s market segment is dominated by well-known “adjacent” competitors that focus on nurse and staff scheduling in the hospital space. To date, there is no platform built specifically for the ambulatory care setting, which is a growing 55% of health system revenue. In addition to being in a space with no direct competitors, TeamBuilder keeps a close pulse on their client needs and ensures their product roadmap is aligned.
For instance, TeamBuilder’s first customer, a large medical group in New York state, was using traditional staffing approaches that looked at staff-to-provider ratios and were not equipped to manage changes in demand and flexible scheduling effectively. They were using paper schedules, managing changes using shared documents, printing schedule updates, and posting them on a bulletin board. Managing everything was cumbersome and led to confusion surrounding shift changes and schedule expectations. As a way to progress their staffing strategies and processes, they implemented TeamBuilder across a group of primary care sites. They were then able to showcase value across several different dimensions, including reduced administrative work time for managers by 50%, and payroll reductions of 8-14%, all while improving the staff experience.
TeamBuilder continues to get requests from additional care settings that provide patient care in non-hospital settings, including: virtual care, retail health, dental, and various therapies. Managing large-scale decentralized workforces is critical to these care settings and is one of the reason’s that TeamBuilder was launched.
“Every health system right now is trying to tackle their staffing issues,” explains David. For the first time ever, staffing has taken the number one spot for the top issues facing healthcare executives. “Getting the right person, in the right place, at the right time sounds much easier than it is – without technology like ours in place, staffing optimization is impossible to sustainably manage.”
Founder & CEO