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

Jessica Chludzinski

What is collaborative consumption? One definition explains it as “collaborative consumption unlocks hidden value in the assets we’ve acquired and skills we’ve developed.”1

Collaborative consumption, also known as crowdsourcing or sharing economies, and businesses that use this relatively new economic model, have been making headlines for some time. Uber and Lyft are perfect examples. If you think about the car-for-hire industry before the arrival of companies like Uber and Lyft, it was almost exclusively based on a top-down dispatch model. Cabs and other similar services, such as town cars, limos and shared-ride services, would dispatch drivers to pick-up passengers at the rider’s request.

This traditional method was fraught with challenges, including high cost, low driver and rider satisfaction and a lack of efficiency with respect to matching rider needs to available drivers. For example, if a cab driver is unfamiliar with the neighborhood the passenger is looking to travel, it can create an unsatisfactory experience for the rider and the driver. In addition, drivers have limited visibility and input into their schedules, which can lead to an unsatisfactory work/life balance and unhappy drivers.

Uber revolutionized the car service industry by taking a more direct approach through collaborative consumption. With this 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 happier and more empowered, which leads to a better overall experience for the customer.

GE Healthcare has developed a similar model with respect to staffing. Unlocking the hidden value of staffing resources, Collaborative Staffing is our ground-up model that empowers employees to meet the staffing needs of the organization—ensuring optimal patient coverage. Hillcrest HealthCare System is an example of an organization that uses a Collaborative Staffing model to help increase employee engagement and reduce labor costs.

For more details on Collaborative Staffing and how it can help healthcare organizations improve employee engagement and create better workforce outcomes, download the Hillcrest HealthCare System case study or explore more on our website.

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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