OnShift received a strategic investment from healthcare-focused marketplace platform ShiftKey, and the companies believe their collaboration will help address current — and persistent — challenges with senior living labor.
Dallas-based ShiftKey is a platform that licensed healthcare professionals such as registered nurses can use to select work opportunities based on a number of factors such as experience and geography. Thousands of senior living and post-acute providers utilize Cleveland, Ohio-based OnShift to help recruit and manage their workforces.
OnShift CEO Mark Woodka declined to specify any financial details of the investment.
OnShift and ShiftKey will remain independent brands, though the two already share some clientele, according to Woodka.
A few shared clients communicated to both companies that they were indeed using both products to fill shifts and schedule employees, signaling that a collaborative solution would be helpful to them and perhaps to the aging care marketplace at large.
“What we [ShiftKey and OnShift] found is that integrating our platforms is a more efficient way for our clients to manage both their own workers and contingent workers,” Woodka said. “How do we give our clients the best experience? How do we help them with the best cost profile? Provide the best care?”
While OnShift and ShiftKey will remain independent, the relationship will result in new options available to the senior living industry in the not-too-distant future that will move the needle, according to Woodka.
As senior living operators attempt to move away from agency labor to gig/shift labor, platforms like OnShift have served to facilitate more flexible labor options.
Providing and/or allowing worker flexibility while tapping into the PRN workforce is one of the most popular — and important — strategies senior living providers are using to fill shifts and retain labor.
“I think [labor] is probably the biggest issue that our clients are facing today,” said Woodka.
To address the labor shortage and boost retention, many in the industry either rely heavily on third-party agencies to place workers or find creative ways to pay workers more money such as bonuses.
But even with financial incentives, senior living operators could be too optimistic about future usage of third-party contingency labor, according to Woodka, as he doesn’t see eliminating temporary workers being realistic any time soon.
“Providers are offering financial incentives that actually turn out to be more expensive than using a contingent workforce platform,” Woodka said.
He views collaboration with ShiftKey as a way to enable providers to utilize the contingent workforce more efficiently and effectively. ShiftKey already offers features that make it simpler for administrators to schedule and manage PRN shifts, and access and report staffing-related data such as payroll-based journal (PBJ) and patient per day (PPD) information.
In a trial with a few facilities, adding and integrating OnShift’s capabilities produced “powerful results” in terms of operational advantages and patient outcomes, according to OnShift.