May 25, 2022

Among the many labor challenges faced during the COVID-19 pandemic, the focus has been on health workers and the issue of staffing in the medical environment, especially at a critical time during the public health crisis. Today, Lantum, the healthcare workforce management platform, announces a $15 million award, talking about how it’s been done over the past two years and the future of its business.

Finch Capital led the round, which also included Piton Capital, Samos and strategic financier Cedars-Sinai Hospital.

London-based Lantum works closely with the UK’s National Health Service: 20 of the NHS’s 40 integrated health systems, spanning thousands of health care providers, already manage their workforce through the Lantum platform. Global pandemic, most of this company signed up. The startup said bookings have more than doubled in the past 12 months and has hired an additional 14,000 doctors.

Lantum’s best solution is to make it easier for healthcare organizations to break down silos and to transition employees to work as needed.

“The NHS has recognized that in order to solve the talent crisis, it is necessary to divide the workforce of each organization,” Lantum CEO and founder Melissa Morris (pictured right) said in an interview.

She said she first became aware of the issue when she was working as a consultant for the NHS to address the issue. “I saw how chaotic the HR management was,” she recalls, after discovering that 70% of the system’s entire budget was spent on personnel and personnel costs. Why didn’t you pay attention to it?

With the Lantum platform, healthcare centers—whether vaccinations or specialty clinics, hospital wards, physician practices (local practices), telemedicine centers, or anything else—can indicate where and when they need help. Then qualified permanent and temporary, paid and unpaid NHS workers who are open to these services can find and subscribe to these services based on skill, location and time and ultimately get paid for their work.

In addition, Lantum also creates an extensive database of active and inactive people and what they can do in terms of skills and availability so that the organization can get a clearer picture of who can be reached and where they are located. You may need to work on personnel and skills.

The approach seems simple enough and clearly no different from any other HR platform on the surface. The difference here, according to Morris, is that Lantum is tailor-made to the specifications of healthcare personnel. More general platforms that can’t register new people and check qualifications use a system that only allows those people to join jobs they can do, not jobs they can’t. And these generic tools don’t meet the needs of medical centers – employers – for an interface that makes it easy to create and list jobs targeted at those people.

Covid-19 has hit frontline healthcare workers hard because collectively, by virtue of their jobs, they may have been the most vulnerable group for people with the infection. Therefore, it became especially important to be able to better organize who did what, where and when, and how to do it as efficiently as possible.

I should point out that I have experienced Lantum’s usefulness firsthand. When the UK vaccination campaign first began, I was one of more than 540,000 people in the country who have so far volunteered to help with the work.

Initial calls for volunteers with specific skills were chaotic and disorganized. I was an “administrator” trained to search, update, find and flag problems in people’s medical records when they came in for injections; others were trained to vaccinate; Others were “caretakers” helping people through the process.

We may all have learned that voluntary service was likely taken orally or by receiving our own vaccines. We will send an email to the person and be added to the mailing list. Then, usually the night before, or maybe the day before, we received an email asking for help.

The people driving the volunteers were usually overworked nurses and other professionals who usually sacrificed their free time to become volunteers outside of their regular work days. Often, it never seemed that one person’s dedicated work just stayed on top.

Even with scheduled vaccination days a week, it was hard to know until the last minute if they would call you or find out who they might need help with. I often wondered why the nurses who recruited volunteers in my local network of four clinics did not at least use spreadsheets to pre-register people. Then suddenly Lantum appeared, and he became… So many easy.

Morris said Cedars-Sinai’s investment and relationship, which is important not only because of the hospital’s profile but because this is Lantum’s first major foray into the US market and healthcare system, has been built over the years.

“We started working with Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles before the pandemic started, but then we had to stop it,” she said. Now he is planning the staff of the hospital’s intensive care unit. “How similar the problems are in the US is just eye-opening, even though the system is very different from the UK,” she said. In fact, many people used pen, paper, and Excel spreadsheets, she said, which was a poor alternative to a smart system that worked end to end, from creating jobs to finding the right candidates, registering them, and eventually, payment.

A portion of the funding will be used to further develop Lantum and develop equipment for customers in the UK, while a portion will go towards expansion in the US. Morris described Cedars-Sinai as a “beach” for the latest strategy. It could also mean raising more money in this round after Lantum received significant interest in raising $15 million from other investors.

“Lantum had an unforgettable year. Their workforce has doubled over the past year as they work to help those on the front lines of this pandemic,” Finch Capital partner Aman Gee said in a statement. “Digital transformation must be the focus of the NHS” [and] Lantum is well positioned to provide the best solutions for the NHS, its staff and patients.”

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