What is collaborative consumption and what does it have to do with staffing in healthcare?

Collaborative consumption and the businesses that use this new economic model have been making headlines. So, what is collaborative consumption? One definition explains that collaborative consumption “unlocks hidden value in the assets we’ve acquired and skills we’ve developed.”1

Uber is a well-known example of collaborative consumption. Before Uber and other companies like it, the car service industry used a top-down approach, with cab drivers being dispatched to pick up riders. This traditional method makes it more challenging to match rider needs with available drivers. In addition, drivers have limited visibility and input into their schedules which can lead to a work/life imbalance and unhappy drivers.

Uber revolutionized the car service industry by taking a more direct approach. With their collaborative consumption model, Uber provides area-wide visibility into rider need and driver availability without the need for a middleman. This transparency allows supply and demand to self-establish equilibrium. Drivers are more empowered, and happy drivers make for happy riders.

A similar model is being used to innovate how staffing is done in the healthcare industry, helping health systems unlock the hidden value of their staffing resources. Collaborative Staffing is a ground-up model that empowers employees to meet the staffing needs of the organization and ensure optimal patient coverage. Health systems using a Collaborative Staffing model, such as Hillcrest HealthCare System, have realized increased employee engagement and reduced labor costs.

During the next few weeks, we’ll be featuring a series of blog posts that take a closer look at how Collaborative Staffing works and what makes it successful. We’ll also discuss how Collaborative Staffing can help you avoid three common staffing pitfalls and showcase health systems that have found success with this approach.


1Accessed October 13, 2015. http://www.usnews.com/opinion/blogs/economic-intelligence/2012/08/09/how-collaborative-consumption-reinvigorates-our-economy

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