Credentially are on a mission to free healthcare teams from unnecessary admin, handing back more time for patient care. Their sophisticated AI platform is revolutionising the staff onboarding and verification process in the healthcare sector, making it faster, cheaper and easier for doctors and nurses to book onto their first shifts. Co-founded by a former London A&E doctor, Credentially helps thousands of healthcare professionals across the UK to work safely, flexibly and collaboratively: without the hassle.
Tell us about the business, how did it all start?
Whilst I was working as an A&E doctor in a busy London hospital, I was struck by how inefficient and frustrating the process of vetting and onboarding new clinicians was. Doctors and HR teams were spending hours processing paper documents, cross-checking databases and sending chase emails, wasting time and resources that could have been better spent on numerous other tasks. With healthcare waiting lists spiralling, and the workforce burning out more quickly than ever before, I was inspired to build a solution. And, after building a team of cross-sector experts, Credentially was born.
At Credentially, we are on a mission to free healthcare providers from unnecessary admin, handing back more time for patient care. Our sophisticated AI platform is revolutionising pre-employment checks and onboarding in the healthcare sector, making it faster, cheaper and easier for doctors and nurses to book onto their first shifts. Today, we’re helping thousands of healthcare professionals around the world to work safely, flexibly and collaboratively: without the hassle.
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Is it really safe to deploy tech into the important process of checking healthcare workers’ credentials?
I’m often met with surprise when I explain that it’s actually much safer to automate the credential checking process! Human error is a huge issue when it comes to noticing errors, gaps or expired qualifications, any one of which can have very serious consequences if the employing organisation is inspected or if an incident occurs.
However, if purpose-built, rigorously-tested AI tech (that is both GDPR and CQC compliant) is deployed into the process, any issues with the employee’s trainings, references or qualifications are automatically flagged for proactive resolution. Changes to rules and regulations can be instantly fed into the system, so organisations can guarantee full compliance at all times. And of course, by helping get more staff on hospital floors, patient safety is improved too.
How will the digital transformation of healthcare staffing systems help tackle patient backlogs and clinical burnout?
When a new doctor is recruited by a hospital, it takes an average of 60 days (and often much longer) to complete the pre-employment checks that allow them to start working on the wards. This means 60 days of their colleagues having to struggle through without the help they need, fuelling more stress and exacerbating burnout in the workforce!
But when tech and automation is introduced into the system, such as the Credentially platform, that onboarding time is reduced to an average of 5 days. This means that the pressure on the workforce can be reduced quickly and more patients treated everyday.
Have you faced any challenges?
I don’t know any tech startup founders who haven’t faced hundreds of challenges – they’re an unavoidable feature of the road to success! One particularly big challenge was getting the Credentially platform integrated with major databases like the DBS, GMC and NMC. This demanded hundreds of hours of coding work – and lots of tech problem-solving – but now these integrations are now an invaluable platform feature.
A big problem that some of our earliest clients brought us onboard to solve was how to stop new hires from dropping out during the onboarding process. Prior to partnering with Credentially, high attrition rates were costing these organisations some of their top new talent! Accelerating the process was not enough to stop this attrition, because the hires still had no way of knowing how long they’d be waiting in the pipeline: communication was the issue. So, we built a user-friendly sign-up experience and dashboard into the clinician-facing part of the Credentially platform, and then added in automated follow-up communication throughout the whole credentialing process. This kept new hires engaged and informed, and really improved their retention in the pipeline.
What sets your business apart from the competition?
Everything we do as an organisation is geared towards making life easier for healthcare staff and improving the quality and safety of patient care. This means that we’ve included features that really matter to users: from automatic reference chasing to an ID verification tool, multiple customisable features and excellent customer service.
Our team is a mix of AI experts, former doctors, HR industry veterans and highly skilled UX designers: this diversity of expertise is our strength, as we can approach every challenge from multiple perspectives. What’s more, Credentially’s AI tech is incredibly sophisticated; we’re breaking through ceilings that other onboarding and credentialing softwares are miles away from. It takes literally seconds for users to snap and upload pictures of their certifications, then the tech kicks in to read, process and store all the information in a secure cloud database.
What can we hope to see from you in the future?
Currently, we’re trusted by over 22,000 clinicians and care providers globally. Our goal is to multiply this number every year, until our tech is in the hands of every healthcare professional.
We’re in the midst of kicking off some great new client partnerships, with several others in the pipeline for the end of 2022 and the start of 2023. One new partnership that I’m particularly excited about is with 18 Week Support, an organisation that sources skilled staff to help the NHS treat more patients and tackle long wait times. Credentially is working with 18 Week Support to make sure that their clinicians can get onto hospital floors quickly and safely, and really make a dent in the elective care backlogs. I’m looking forward to seeing this partnership flourish, and to exploring similar opportunities with other leading healthcare staffing providers.