CareRev Offers Gig Work for Medical Professionals

CareRev Offers Gig Work for Medical Professionals

The gig economy has reached health care.

Hospitals were overrun with patients in critical need during the pandemic, causing nurse-to-patient ratio policies to drop and forcing nurses to attend to more patients.

CareRev hopes to balance that ratio out by providing hospitals with staff during high-traffic hours or for graveyard shifts. Hospitals post shifts on the platform, and clinicians who are vetted by CareRev can hire them in a matter of hours.

The Venice-based company announced Monday it raised $50 million, backed by health care IT giant Transformational Capital. CareRev works with 30 different health care organizations and has over 11,000 nurses, medical assistants and lab technicians on the platform.

"Health care systems have a really hard time knowing how many people they're going to have in the ER and different ICU units. And so they try to guess what the demand is going to be or use some sort of staffing prediction model," said CEO and trauma nurse Will Patterson.

But the process can often create scenarios where hospitals are understaffed when an emergency hits the local community, or overstaffed, which creates a financial burden for hospitals. Hospitals, which lost money due to cancelled elective surgeries during the pandemic, had to tighten their belts.

"It put us front and center to help them create a more flexible labor workforce, where they could be more efficient with their operation," Patterson said. "and if they're more efficient about scheduling staffing, they're going to save money."

Per diem nursing, which is equivalent to temp agency work, is not a new concept. It has often been used to fill gaps left by employees when they go on vacation or have an emergency that prevents them from showing up to work. Per diem nurses don't get employee benefits such as medical benefits or vacation days, but the flexibility allows nurses to create their own schedules.

Companies including Santa Monica-based Medely and Walnut-based Clipboard Health have also entered the market to provide efficient, tech-enabled platforms by which nurses can connect with hospitals. CareRev says its platform lets health care organizations to use the platform internally as well, so that on-staff nurses can pick up extra shifts before gig nurses do.

Patterson was a trauma nurse who worked in different health care systems in New Mexico, Santa Barbara, San Diego and San Francisco. He said he wanted to pick up extra shifts at hospitals where he wasn't employed but it was tough because it involved processing paperwork and going through orientation. It would have forced him to take days off his other job.

"I couldn't easily pick up shifts anywhere and I really wanted to pay the student debt down. So I was actually thinking, it would be easier to be a bartender," Patterson said.

The company, which also doubles as a way for health care systems to internally manage shifts and new arrival paperwork, automates parts of the onboarding process by allowing staff to upload credentials and vaccines into the system. It uses machine learning to approve paperwork so new staff can quickly begin shadowing and training in person.

"We're just cutting down the amount of time it takes for someone to get to that day where they show up in person," Patterson said.The new funding will go toward adding more AI and machine learning to the platform, the company said.

The new funding will go toward adding more AI and machine learning to the platform in order to better predict peak hours at the hospital.

This story has been updated.

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