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When it comes to healthcare hiring, there are issues faced by both the nurses and the health systems that want to hire them. On the nurse's side, there's fatigue and burnout, but also an increased set of expectations for them, and on the healthcare system side, they're dealing with lagging technology, and increased cost from hiring temporary workers to fill positions.
Incredible Health was founded to be a career marketplace for nurses, focusing on helping hospitals hire workers for permanent roles.
"Our demand for health care as a country keeps increasing, because our population is aging but we know the supply of workers has not kept up with that demand. And so, we're on track to be a million nurses shorts in the next 18 months," Dr. Iman Abuzeid, Incredible Health's CEO and co-founder, said in an interview.
"We realized that the processes, the technology, the tools that hospitals and health systems use haven't really changed in over 20 years. And we just figured there has to be a better way.
Incredible Health's solution has caught on quickly: the company, which was founded in 2017, announced an $80 million Series B round of funding, valuing it at $1.65 billion. The round was led by Base10 Partners as part of its Advancement Initiative, a fund designed to align the success of tech companies with wealth creation for underrepresented minorities.
Also participating were existing investors Andreessen Horowitz and Obvious Ventures, along with Kaiser Permanente, Workday CEO Chano Fernandez, NBA Champion Andre Iguodala, and the D’Amelio family, including TikTok personalities Charli and Dixie D’Amelio, who joined the round via their 444 Capital Fund.
While healthcare staffing is a crowded field, with companies all trying to help healthcare workers find jobs, including Intelycare, connectRN, Clipboard Health, Wheel, CareRev, and Nomad Health, there are three unique things about Incredible Health and how it works, Abuzeid said, the first being that the employers that search for talent on Incredible Health, instead of the other way around.
"As you can imagine, the nurses love that, because they create a profile, they sit back and relax, they get interview requests from different hospitals, and they get to choose which interviews to accept or decline," she said.
The second point of differentiation is that the company has automated the screening of talent, meaning that when nurses sign up, Incredible Health is able to quickly verify licenses, malpractice records, and certifications with its screening algorithms. That means its able to serve up very high volume supply to employers very rapidly.
The most important point of differentiation, though, she explained is its matching algorithms.
"There are nurses out there, there's employers out there, but the problem is that they need to be matched really well based on each other's preferences and that's what our matching algorithms enable. So, let's say you are a nurse who is looking to advance your career, or you're trying to cross train to a different specialty, or you're trying to relocate, or you're trying to shorten your commute time, all of these preferences are baked into our matching algorithms to ensure that they're only hearing from employers that are the right match."
In addition to its staffing features, Incredible health also offers nurses access to a career coach, called talent advocates, who help with interview preparation, help evaluate offers, you get access to continuing education that’s completely free and is accredited in all 50 states that nurses need to renew and activate their licenses. You get access to salary estimators, and it's geographic in nature, so you can search by geography and by specialty what your salary should or could be. You also get access to our advice platform: nurses can ask each other very specific questions, like let's say an ER nurse asks like, “Hey, I'm looking to expand my skills in the ER in your xyz ways,” we automatically pick the ER nurses in our database who can come in and provide a very detailed answer.
In fact, there are a number of nurses who use Incredible Health who aren't even looking for a new job, Abuzeid said.
"This is not supposed to be transactional, one and done, you get your job and you're done. We have nurses engaging with our products even between job searches, even after job searches, we have nurses on our platform that aren't even using us for job searches. They're using those for continuing education or for the advice platform. And so, we do want to continue to invest in career products for nurses."
Currently, 10,000 nurses join the Incredible Health platform every single week and, while its most common use case is currently experienced and specialized nurses who are looking to advance their career, but earlier this year the company began branching out to helping new nurses as well, and so now around 22% of its signups are new graduate nurses.
On the health system side, Incredible Health works with over 600 hospitals across 25 states, including big health systems like Kaiser Permanente and HCA Healthcare, regional systems like Baylor Scott and White, and WellStar, and academic medical centers like NYU, Northwestern, Stanford, and Cedar Sinai.
For the nurses on its platform, they've seen a 17% increase in their salaries when using Incredible Health, while every hospital location the company has worked with has saved at least $2 million per year, in part because it's able to reduce the time for filling a specialized permanent nursing role from the nation average of 82 days to just 14 days, an 82% decrease.
"We're driving cost savings from travelers costs, because if you're able to hire permanent nurses, you don't have to hire as many temporary workers and travel nurses. And then we're also offsetting their overtime costs. So you don't have to ask as many of your staff to work overtime if you can hire permanent nurses more rapidly. There's also some HR cost savings too, because we're automating some of their workflows," said Abuzeid.
Going beyond nursing
Incredible Health plans to use its new capital in two ways: first, by investing R&D, which means optimizing its hiring workflows, adding machine learning technology, building out its first machine learning team, and improving its screening algorithms and matching algorithms to make them more personalized and more automated.
The funding will also be used to scale and expand the company, with new features and tools to help nurses manage their career, such as scheduling services for their shifts, adding more mobility and relocation support, supporting more cross training initiatives, and also more educational scholarships; along with this funding, it was also revealed that Incredible Health and Base10 Partners intend to create a scholarship initiative for nurses going forward.
The aim is to get over 90% of the US nursing workforce on our platform, said Abuzeid, but the company has an even bigger vision than that: to move beyond nursing so that its platform can support the entire healthcare workforce, adding support for doctors and physical therapists and pharmacists and specialists.
"Ultimately, we're trying to pursue this vision of helping healthcare professionals live better lives and the mission of helping them find and do their best work. And that means what we're doing is we're defining a new category and aiming to be market leaders in healthcare labor. We’re calling ourselves market leaders in healthcare labor, so we have to support all of healthcare eventually," she said.
Along with expanding on the healthcare professional side, it also plans to expand to more types of health care facilities as well, including urgent care, surgical centers, skilled nursing, and home health, with the goal of helping all healthcare professionals find and do their best work so they can live their best lives.
"Our most important company value is customer obsession: do whatever you can to delight users, and everyone at Incredible Health is accountable to that value, even if you're not in a user-facing role. The focus on user delight has been what's propelled our growth over the years, and it's just like a relentless focus on addressing user problems as quickly as humanly possible," Abuzeid said.
"Being the market leader in healthcare labor, transforming the experience of both the talent and the employers for how hiring happens in healthcare, to be a lot more delightful. That's probably the impact that we're looking for and supporting this group of healthcare workers that are overworked and underappreciated is probably the biggest impact that way."
(Image source: incrediblehealth.com)
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