News Roundup: The Gig Economy’s Impact on Nursing

The gig economy’s impact on the nursing industry continues to be a hot topic. Following is a roundup of the news coverage that circulated on the issue, with references to IntelyCare.

The Boston Globe: As gig economy expands into temporary staffing, worker protections retreat

Massachusetts is cracking down on gig economy companies to expand the benefits and protections offered to their employees. In an article for the Boston Globe, our CEO David Coppins weighs in and explains why IntelyCare decided to recognize our gig workers as W-2 employees, rather than independent contractors, all along.

The contractor model, really when you think about it, makes it seem like we don’t really care about [the workers], we care about margins,” he said.

Health care has a great need for more temporary staffing, Coppins said, noting his company has 4,000 employees who can work in 125 facilities across Massachusetts, and also has employees in eight other states.

Before long, he predicted, all health care staffing will be done through digital platforms. And that doesn’t have to be a bad thing.

“We have this tendency to demonize the concept of the gig economy, but the concept itself is really needed,” he said. “The demonization of it is because the companies have treated [workers] like an asset, or a tool, not like people.”

Read the full article from The Boston Globe.

McKnight’s: The gig economy’s latest victim? Healthcare staffing

Our Co-Founder and Chief Nursing Officer, Chris Caulfield, RN, NP-C, highlights the rise of non-traditional staffing models and the impact gig economy-style staffing platforms have on facility operations in his article for McKnight’s Long-Term Care News.

The traditional healthcare staffing model isn’t working. It’s inefficient and expensive for facilities, burning out nurses by strong-arming them into overworking, and putting patients at risk.

When a facility that uses the traditional staffing model needs to fill a gap in their schedule, it results in a time-consuming game of phone tag between facilities, agencies and their agency staff. If agencies can’t fill the shifts that facilities need, facility administrators and schedulers have two options — ask their own nursing staff to work overtime, or leave the gap in their schedule unfilled and risk staffing penalties. While both of these options are short-term fixes, they can bleed into long-term issues, like staff burnout and turnover, and poor patient care.

Read the full article from McKnight’s Long-Term Care News.

MedCity News: Startup bringing gig-economy approach to nurse staffing raises $45M

Elise Reuter of MedCity News highlights IntelyCare’s Series B funding round — the largest venture round in nursing tech.

A startup bringing a tech-based approach to healthcare staffing raised $45 million in equity and debt financing. Boston-based IntelyCare’s software matches nurses with openings at nursing homes and assisted living facilities, letting them opt into shifts of their choosing.

With an expected nursing shortage, many healthcare facilities are already feeling the pinch — especially skilled nursing facilities, which generally have fewer nurses available to cover dropped shifts.

“It’s quite common for nurses in this industry to stay 16 hours even if they’re scheduled for 8 hours. It leads to burnout and becomes quite dangerous for patient care as well,” Co-Founder and Chief Nursing Officer Chris Caulfield said.

Read the full article from MedCity News.

Life as a Human: How the gig economy is helping the nurse shortage

With the nursing shortage on the rise, the gig economy is emerging as a viable option to optimize the current nursing workforce and reduce burnout among healthcare workers. The gig economy can provide nursing professionals with the autonomy to create their own schedules, so they don’t have to sacrifice their physical and emotional well-being to stay in the profession they love.

In this article from human interest magazine, Life as a Human, IntelyCare is cited as an app solution that leverages the gig economy model to bring flexibility to the post-acute nursing workforce.

Read the full article from Life as a Human.

Daily Nurse: Nurses are taking the temperature of the gig economy

Our Co-Founder and Chief Nursing Officer, Chris Caulfield, sat down with Daily Nurse to discuss the challenges of achieving a work-life balance as a nurse, and the opportunity the gig economy has to transform the nursing experience.

What particular challenges are faced by nurses who are parents and spouses?

It is a challenge for any working professional to balance both the responsibilities of work and being a parent or spouse, but there are a few factors that make it even more difficult for nurses.

For nurses, shift start times are rigid, shift end times are unpredictable, and working from home is not an option. As a result, nurses cannot come in a little late if their child misses the bus, nor can they be certain their shift will end on time to do school pick-up. Additionally, if their child is sick, they cannot work from home to take care of them.

Oftentimes, nurses are asked to stay late to cover care gaps. For a parent, this catches them between a rock and a hard place: what do you choose? Abandoning your patients or abandoning your child in the after school pick-up line?

Read the full article from Daily Nurse.

WCAI: Can the ‘gig economy’ save the nursing industry on Cape Cod?

Nursing homes on the Cape and Islands find themselves in the midst of a severe nurse staffing shortage, which is making it more difficult than ever to safely care for their patients.

Our Co-Founder and Chief Nursing Officer, Chris Caulfield, describes the opportunity to alleviate the strain caused by the severe nurse staffing shortage with a new kind of workforce in a recent interview with Sarah Mizes-Tan.

“…Intelycare isn’t meant to be a replacement for nursing assistants hired in-house, and that he doesn’t think it’s a good idea for nursing homes to be staffed entirely by Intelycare. But the app can be the bridge between an understaffed and a well-staffed nursing home.

“You can’t staff a whole facility with 100 percent [Intelycare nurses]. It just wouldn’t work, it would be dangerous,” Caulfield said. “But the balance of 5 percent or 10 percent to make sure your own staff isn’t being turned over or burnt out, and to make sure you’re delivering care, is extremely important.”

Read the full article and listen to the recording from WCAI.

Healthcare Business Today: Avoiding nurse burnout through the gig economy

Our Co-Founder and Chief Nursing Officer, Chris Caulfield, weighs in on the gig economy’s role in potentially relieving nurse burnout and the staffing shortage in his contribution to Healthcare Business Today.

The nursing profession is at a breaking point. Chronic staff shortages, an aging U.S. population and burnout driven by physically and emotionally stressful work and forced overtime, create a perfect storm that is driving nurses away from healthcare just when they are needed the most.

One ray of hope for salvation comes in the unexpected form of the gig economy. Using the same concepts that Uber and Lyft leveraged to transform urban transportation, companies are now beginning to apply these very same supply and demand principles to healthcare. So far, the early results are very encouraging.

This type of technology empowers nurses to regain the flexibility to control their own schedules and income, and those facilities who once battled seemingly chronic staff shortages and burnout are now adept at keeping its internal staff happier and more engaged.

Read the full article from Healthcare Business Today.

Forbes: The gig economy has arrived in the world of nursing

Our Co-Founder and Chief Nursing Officer, Chris Caulfield, explains the tremendous impact the gig economy can have on the nursing experience in his article for the Forbes Technology Council.

These tech-enabled health care staffing “gigs” give nursing professionals the freedom to work when they want. Similar to the way an Uber driver picks up a ride in their app, nurses can browse potential shifts on their app and can filter shifts based on when and where they’d like to work. So, if they want to make time for their family, friends, healthy living and rest, they can. Plus, at per diem rate, nurses can craft their perfect schedule, and get paid well at the same time. This technology has the potential to not only combat the short staffing struggles health care facilities faced throughout the United States, but they can also create a better nursing experience for nurses.

Read the full article from Forbes.

iAdvance Senior Care: How the senior care industry stands to benefit from the gig economy

John Shagoury, IntelyCare COO, explains the need for a gig economy in healthcare and how IntelyCare is leading the charge. So, in this iAdvance Senior Care article, he explains that “‘In a gig model like this, the flexibility, pay, and work-life balance of gig work can be appealing, and caregivers and nurses who pursue this model can work as much or as little as they want.”

Read the full article from iAdvance Senior Care.


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