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Introducing the New App That Could Reshape Hospital Hiring During the Pandemic

By Michael Klazema on 5/13/2020

A new software solution developed as part of a global hackathon event could hold solutions to some of the challenges that hospitals in COVID-19 epicenters are facing.

The pandemic has hit healthcare systems hard in part because of a lack of consistent experience across hospitals. In hard-hit metropolises such as New York City and Detroit, hospitals have faced overcrowding and healthcare worker shortages, which have forced faster and more desperate hiring processes and put key steps such as healthcare background checks in doubt.

Hospitals in less-affected areas have not faced those same challenges: stay-at-home orders and cancelations of elective treatments and procedures have even left some qualified healthcare professionals out of work.

Health Hero Match (abbreviated H2M) is an app with the potential to solve most—if not all—of these challenges. The application was built by a seven-member team as part of the 2020 NYUAD Hackathon for Social Good in the Arab World. The hackathon is usually hosted on the campus of NYUAD (New York University Abu Dhabi, in the United Arab Emirates) but was held virtually this year due to COVID-19.

H2M was the victor of the hackathon: an application aimed at matching hospitals (specifically those facing staffing shortages) with healthcare workers. The app’s developers say they plan to pilot it in Abu Dhabi to start but noted that a beta launch in Philadelphia could follow. One member of the team, Alexa Spagnola, is a college student at the Philly-based University of Pennsylvania.

According to the Philly Voice, the H2M software uses a combination of “real-time modeling and artificial intelligence” to execute its unique matchmaking proposition. Doctors, nurses, or almost-graduated medical students can use the platform to find the hospitals and healthcare systems that are in the direst need of their expertise. Spagnola told the Philly Voice that her team was inspired to build the app in part because they saw so many healthcare professionals eager to relocate (temporarily) to COVID-19 epicenters so that they could help save lives.

In particular, H2M is intended for doctors or nurses who are unemployed, working in temporarily-shuttered private practice offices, retired, or based in parts of the country that have not been hit hard by COVID-19. These professionals can start the matchmaking process by downloading the app and loading certain information into their accounts, including credentials, qualifications, and salary requirements. The app then uses real-world data to match these healthcare professionals to hospitals in crisis locations. H2M can even identify free hotel accommodations and other incentives in crisis areas that might make relocating more realistic for healthcare professionals.

While the H2M app is designed to ease the process, certain steps still fall to individual hospitals. For instance, while H2M facilitates a connection and makes it easier for medical workers to find and apply to hospitals in need, hospitals still need to make plans for job interviews, license verification, and other healthcare background checks.

Even in urgent situations, these vetting steps are critical to validating qualifications and avoiding dangerous or reckless hires. At backgroundchecks.com, we can help your healthcare organization plan a smart and efficient background screening process. Contact us today for help with your healthcare background checks.


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