by Christine Graf
Saratoga Springs healthcare technology company Davin Workforce Solutions is preparing for the nationwide launch of their newly-developed software.
The software was designed to help healthcare organizations and nursing schools manage and streamline the credentialing of their clinical staff and students. It allows customers to securely store documents on its cloud-based servers.
Founder and CEO David Theobald, a Saratoga Springs native, received his undergraduate degree in nursing in from Utica’s St. Elizabeth College of Nursing. He earned a master’s in nursing education from Empire State College. He was serving on the advisory board for the Siena College Baldwin School of Nursing in 2015 when he came up with the idea for what would eventually become Davin Workforce Solutions.
“We would talk about challenges we were up against in growing the nursing programs,” said Theobald. “One of the big challenges they were encountering was securing students’ clinical information securely and sending that info securely to hospitals.”
Theobald’s mentor, Empire State College Dean of Nursing Bridget Nettleton, had also expressed similar concerns about data security.
“She wanted to be able to use a secure platform to be able to upload those credentials and also to help her students track their clinical placements across New York state,” he said.
In order to work at clinical location, nursing students must provide immunization records, medical records, background checks, and drug screens. Most colleges keep track of their students’ clinical information on Excel spreadsheets. They typically transmit this data to clinical locations through email. These spreadsheets often contain social security numbers and other private information.
“We surveyed a lot of nursing programs and found out that this problem is not just local to our area. It’s really a problem everywhere. People are using Excel spreadsheets and paper files to credential their students. They send them through snail mail or as an unsecured document,” he said. “Personal information being sent through email is an easy target for computer hackers to steal that information. Plus, it’s not very efficient.”
In order to develop software that would address the credentialing problem, Theobald enlisted programmers employed by his company, StatStaff Professionals in Saratoga Springs.
“StatStaff Professionals is our workforce division,” said Theobald. “We provide staffing resources to rural hospitals throughout the country. There are critical shortages of nurses, especially in rural areas. So we help supply nurses to those regions that need experienced nurses. We also supply allied health professionals such as respiratory therapists.”
Theobald founded StatStaff Professionals in 2002 while working locally as a registered nurse.
“I was working at the bedside, and I was working 12 hour shifts. We were always short staffed and didn’t have enough people to take care of the patients. It was really frustrating. Quality of care was something I was very passionate about, and I decided there was a better way to engage with folks and to help develop people into the profession. So, I decided to start an organization based on some of the frustrations I experienced working at the bedside,” he said.
StatStaff Professionals has grown exponentially since its inception. The company employs 105 people and is headquartered at 18 Division St. They moved there in 2013 after being previously located on Ushers Road in Clifton Park.
Although Davin Workforce Solutions and StatStaff Professionals are separate businesses, Theobald said they share resources.
“We already had the development team that was working on our workforce platform, so it was a perfect fit,” he said. “We had to create new software, but we had the developers and had the workforce in-house to help implement this type of program.”
After successfully piloting the software at both Siena College and Empire State College, Davin Workforce Solutions is ready to begin marketing the software on a national level.
In order to prepare for the launch, they took part in the Skidmore Saratoga Consulting Partnership Program. The mission of the program is to “create a strategic partnership between our campus and our community by offering pro bono consulting services to enable the region’s for-profit and nonprofit enterprises to realize their potential and achieve their goals.”
Collen Burke, a Skidmore professor with an M.B.A. from Harvard, oversees the program. Theobald said he couldn’t have been more impressed with her and her students.
“She and her consulting students were truly amazing as far as bringing new ideas and insight and an outside perspective to us. They helped us develop the concept a little bit more and now we are ready to take this to a national level. They brought new perspectives to our organization about how we can make this software product work in different markets across the country.”
Davin Workforce Solutions currently employs 10 people. He expects that number to increase after the software launch scheduled for September.
“We are growing at a rate of 25 to 30 percent between the two organizations. As we grow, we are hiring from schools we work with. We’re hiring students from UAlbany, Skidmore, and Siena. We’re also giving them opportunities for internships and hiring those students directly. We are also very pro-education and offer tuition reimbursement, and we have a program that supports our staff going back to school.”
Although Theobald admits he does miss working directly with patients, he said he gets a great deal of satisfaction from working with both of his companies.
“It’s very humbling to say that you are following your passion and making a difference in healthcare. Even though we aren’t directly at the bedside, we are still making a difference to the patients.”
by Christine Graf