Gate 121 was founded in 2000 by CEO Ben Hartz, initially providing an opt-in permission-based retail marketing system. While the application of the software in the retail sector was viable, it was a chance meeting at a barbecue with an after-hour nurse manager a short time later that highlighted the need for a better system for managing casual nurses within large hospital networks.
Lacking any automated system, nurse managers would have a well-worn contact book of favourite nurses and casuals, and would work their way through the lists by calling each employee when there was a shift vacancy. Manually calling staff was a flawed system not only because it was labour-intensive, but also because staff would appear in multiple sources, unfairly receiving the bulk of available shifts.
Now aware of the frustrations of nurse managers and staff, it was obvious what the solution was, we already had some sophisticated matching logic. We decided to pivot and repurpose our existing core logic to match the attributes of the casual nurse to the requirements of a specific open shift.
At the end of 2003, we began working very closely with an Area Health Services in the North of Sydney. Months of intensive analysis and investigation occurred on-site with the Health Service studying the inner workings, oddities and nuances of scheduling and rostering casual nurses while understanding impacts of occupational health and safety regulations, qualifications, grades, nursing abilities and preferences.
ShiftMatch was released in April 2004 under the name ‘Cascom,’ the very first web-based automated staff allocation solution designed specifically for casual healthcare staff management from the ground up. The platform was subsequently launched in 2014 in Canada under the brand FillShift. Our expansion to North America prompted the brands Fillshift and Cascom to merge under the global brand ShiftMatch, partly due to the US government’s use of “CASCOM” as an acronym.
ShiftMatch has been in operation for 16 years now. Over that time, the platform has evolved through regular innovative updates and releases primarily inspired by the insightful feedback we receive through our customer-driven development process.
ShiftMatch is now used in a wide variety of sectors in Australia and North America, including healthcare, aged care, education, child care, hospitality, warehousing, and emergency services. Today, more than 200,000 nurses, physicians, teachers, child caregivers, elderly caregivers and factory employees are being deployed in nearly 300,000 shifts each month across thousands of locations.