Improving Healthcare through Telecommunication with Todd Walrath
December 19, 2023 / Share:
In this episode of Friends of Project Healthcare…
Todd Walrath, CEO and Founder of ShiftMed, joined host Eric Thrailkill to describe how his experience working in media inspired his use of telecommunication to deliver effective healthcare, and helped him communicate empathetically with nurses and healthcare professionals. Todd shares how he strives to understand the needs of clients and workers, providing flexibility and financial stability for customers.
“Our platform allows healthcare professionals to use non-monetary things, rewards, recognition is really important to nurses,” Todd explained. “It warms your heart to know that we’re kind of facilitating a one-to-one relationship between a healthcare provider and a nurse that isn’t their employee.”
Todd’s journey in healthcare began when helping in a family member’s search for care, where he discovered the benefits of utilizing telecommunication when searching for healthcare solutions.
“I wanted to basically try to shave off four months of my life that I spent for other people on a pay it forward basis,” Todd illustrated. “So I started a company called seniorliving.net, and we had relationships with about 15,000 assisted living post-acute brands and locations.”
Expanding his venture, Todd developed his flagship brand, ShiftMed.
ShiftMed strives to deliver on-demand solutions to healthcare facilities regarding labor, and combines effective technological tools with a relationship-based marketing strategy to maintain labor stability and trust within healthcare.
“We’re helping our clients and investors find better ways to evaluate the members on their network to provide services at home for those members,” Todd shared. “It’s nice to have lots of different types of workers, and lots of different applications of the technology so that we can tailor a solution that helps them solve the relationship challenge that they want to resolve.”
Following the COVID-19 pandemic, ShiftMed was able to deliver efficient results, even when the healthcare industry took a financial hit, which was the case for all other businesses during that time.
“I think it created an opportunity, the severity of some of those needs changed, the spikes in demand and we’re more acute in those situations,” Todd described. “And we’re very proud of the fact that we were able to deploy.”
Todd expressed gratitude for ShiftMed’s ability to create opportunities for those in need, and meet the shift in demand enough in advance to where clients could feel financially stable.
“We’re also very proud of the fact that we didn’t charge surge pricing. We actually spend a lot of time working with our clients, showing them how to use less staffing and save money on staffing with non-monetary benefits.”
ShiftMed allows the flexibility for healthcare professionals to voice their needs, and receive logistical aid on demand, particularly with financial issues, such as transportation to work with a lower salary.
“It’s an equity issue, it’s a level playing field issue, and everybody feels bad when somebody says, ‘I’d like to work. I just can’t get to work.’ Well, what if I just drop $15 into your ShiftMed account? It’s there.”
In addition to equity, ShiftMed allows nurses flexibility in their routines, and creates an efficient way of tracking who is doing what shift, and earn an equal salary.
“We created a guaranteed shift program so that we’re able to trade certainty and build that relationship with the worker,” Todd clarified. “And those are some of the most popular shifts that we have that get cleaned twice as fast as a non-guaranteed shift. So it’s definitely something people are interested in.”
As an entrepreneur, Todd offered advice on those just starting out building their businesses, and explained how to know your market and earn revenue efficiently.
“In this environment, you need to get a proof of your idea and try to get to some version of revenue as quickly as possible,” Todd emphasized. “We don’t live in a world where people want to give you five or 10 million to go burn that cash and see if your idea might have legs. You have to break it down into some discrete increments to really have proof points and to bring those people along.”
About Todd Walrath Todd is the founder and CEO of ShiftMed and Homecare.com. He has spent the past decade disrupting the healthcare staffing industry with technology-driven workforce solutions that help solve the nationwide nursing shortage and generate better patient outcomes. Before ShiftMed and Homecare.com, Walrath spent 20 years in leadership roles within the digital media and interactive marketing space. He founded two start-up companies, SeniorLiving.net and LEADS.com, which went public and were acquired by RealPage Inc and AOL, respectively. Walrath holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Bucknell University and a Master of Business Administration from The Fuqua School of Business at Duke University.
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