We’ve been working incredibly hard over the last couple of years to get the MyMedic Network up and running. It’s been a real learning curve but worth every second now that the system is live and delivering real benefits to our clients and locums alike. To get us to this point, a vital area of work has been the development of the technical IT system which has been given a guiding hand by our non-executive director and tech healthcare specialist, Dale Jessop. Here, in our latest blog, Dale gives us an insight into his previous experience, role with MyMedic and the work that has been undertaken to launch our innovative online platform to the world!
I've worked in technology since the late 1990s but have been interested in technology, and specifically computers ever since I can remember! After University my career started at Sanderson PLC working in and writing software for the public sector before moving into the healthcare sector for the first time. In 2001, I joined a small company in Sheffield and built a system called Sentinel which managed clinical negligence, risk management, complaints and incidents and is still used in the NHS and other sectors today. I then moved into various roles including head of systems development in the UK at 3M, Exco InTouch where within a year I became their chief technology officer. In December 2016 we executed a trade sale of the business to ERT where I stayed for 18 months running the technology in a division called Digital Patient whilst also heading up their Innovation Lab in Boston, MA. I then joined Induction Healthcare as chief technology officer and helped them float on the AIM stock-market before moving on to be an independent consultant.
When I look back, I suppose it’s fair to say that I sort of fell into healthcare tech as many do in the early stages of their career but what has kept me there is the ability to help people and make a positive impact on their lives. I noticed this more in the pharma industry as we helped new drugs come to market and spoke with several patients who had had positive outcomes based on the work we had played a small part in. And the same logic applies to MyMedic. When I first heard about what the founders, Gareth Bennett and Rob Gorringe, had in mind it was clear the positive impact the network would have on both health services and locums. It made the project really appealing to me.
From the outset it was very clear Rob and Gareth knew the industry inside-and-out, and had a clear vision to disrupt the traditional locum agencies by creating a technology platform which would allow a much smaller operational cost, which could be reflected in rates to the healthcare providers. The other, and probably most interesting paradigm that MyMedic solved, is that it switches the control to the locum; they get to choose their hours, their preferred locations and can self manage their time without being hassled by a recruitment agent or placed somewhere which is inconvenient for them but really important to the recruiters bonus!
There are so many benefits of the platform I don't know where to start but I guess if pushed I would say that it has been designed to allow a locum to manage their work independently - they can set their shift patterns and locations, accept shifts which are offered, look for extra shifts in a pool of unallocated ones, sign timesheets and be paid all electronically and autonomously. This is the benefit of having a system built by founders who have worked in and still work in the profession they're serving.
The vision set out at the very beginning of MyMedic has been key - knowing what we wanted the platform to be and to make sure that the choices you're making don't paint you into a corner later. From that vision, a clear set of requirements are defined and worked through with the developers and designers to draft out the user experience and then we start the development and testing work and ultimately have a new feature or module which we can review. Probably the most important part is the shared knowledge and vision, we're proud to have an exceptional design and development team that just "get it", they often finish our sentences as we're explaining what problem we're trying to solve.
Security, scalability and reliability are always the primary concerns; making sure that sensitive information remains secure and making sure our systems can scale to meet demand. I'm proud to say over the last year our servers have been available 99.97% of the time, the 0.3% we have used to make numerous updates to the software over the year but it means that our locums know that other than for a few minutes each month our system is there for them to use.
The use of AI is always a challenge! Our initial entry in AI and ML (Machine Learning) has been in the placement of shifts. We receive several files from our clients which contain many hundreds of shifts across numerous roles and this is where we focussed our attention. I wrote the initial version of this as a proof-of-concept to determine if it would work before our developers worked on the production version. This system looks at many data points set as preferences by our locums, shift patterns, location, historic shifts worked by the locums and then it attempts to sets up a shift pattern which it believes gives the best fulfilment for the client and meets the requirements of our locums. It then presents these selections back so our team can manually tweak where necessary, which again feeds back into the system so it can continue to learn. Previously, it could take several days to put together the shift pattern for hundreds and thousands of shifts where now it takes minutes.
I would love to see the industry recognise that temporary staffing is part of the solution and not the problem. As people continue to evaluate work/life balance we will see many excellent healthcare professionals leave the industry as they cannot find the flexibility they crave. I believe this acknowledgment and a system like MyMedic can help ensure healthcare professionals find this balance, remain in the industry and continue to provide the excellent levels of care we all recognise in our NHS.
If you've any questions or comments, or if you're a potential client who'd like to discuss setting up an account with MyMedic, please send us a message, so we can contact you. Alternatively, just give us a call on the number below.
Locums: If you're interested in joing the MyMedic network, please use our locum enquiry form.
MyMedic, Gresley House, Ten Pound Walk, Doncaster, DN4 5HX · Tel: 0330 043 2464 · firstname.lastname@example.org