As any Canadian professional working in healthcare today can attest, there is an ongoing staffing crisis that seems unable to resolve itself.
As a result, healthcare professionals are burning out, and patients may not be receiving optimal care. It’s a lose-lose situation in Canada, as well as other countries around the globe, including the United Kingdom.
In the UK, technology platform Florence is aiming to address this global issue, one nation at a time, with its digital platform. The Florence app empowers nurses and other healthcare professionals to “find flexible, fair, and transparent work options, and enables long-term care homes, hospitals, and other organizations to sustainably fill open shifts in their schedule with highly skilled and vetted healthcare workers,” according to a statement from the overseas company.
The UK-born app, which last year raised a sizeable Series B round and expanded service to France, this week announced its formal entry into the Canadian market, which today experiences some of the most severe talent shortages in healthcare.
According to Florence, a growing demand for care in Canada continues to outpace the supply of health workers, “placing significant pressures on the sustainability of the health system.” The company observes how nurses are “leaving the profession in record numbers, due to worsening burnout conditions, heavy workloads, and lack of meaningful resources, with the COVID-19 pandemic further accelerating these challenges.”
The free app looks to address this systemic strain by uplifting health professionals with a way to “take control of their work conditions while directly improving the state of healthcare for the regions in which they operate.”
“Canada is in the middle of a significant workforce crisis and we’re looking forward to supporting providers to help them use technology to build a flexible, efficient and high quality workforce,” says Charles Armitage, founder and CEO of Florence.
The digital platform includes a suite of workforce management tools for healthcare facilities, including the ability to fill schedule openings with existing staff before posting shifts to the Florence marketplace. The company has set out to challenge traditional agency staffing models by giving administrators “freedom and control to set their own rates when temporary staffing needs arise.”
“Health human resourcing is one of the largest issues facing the Canadian healthcare system today,” believes Shelly-Ann Rampersad.
Rampersad knows how dire the situation is, being a longstanding professional in healthcare herself. She was the former Vice President of Clinical Operations at Toronto-based technology startup Maple, now the country’s premier online healthcare platform, serving nearly four million Canadians.
At Maple, Rampersad led the company’s clinical operations including clinical strategy and worked with hospitals and health systems to implement innovative models of care. Moving forward, she will serve as Managing Director for Florence’s Canadian operations.
“I’m thrilled to be joining the team at Florence to tackle this challenge,” she stated, “and I look forward to working alongside nurses, health workers, and healthcare organizations to create a more sustainable path forward.”
“We’re so excited to bring Florence to Canada under Shelly-Ann’s leadership,” said Armitage.
Today, Florence serves more than a quarter of social care in the UK, working with 90,000 nurses and healthcare workers across 2,000 organizations in both public and private sectors. To achieve similar success in the Canadian market, Florence partnered with Toronto Global, a team of business advisors assisting global businesses to expand into the region.