Clipboard Health is a marketplace to lift workers up the socioeconomic ladder. We’re the fastest-growing startup you probably haven’t heard of. We have strong traction, positively impact our users’ lives, and are scaling quickly. Read on to learn about our product and how we build it.
Annual revenue in 3 years
Growth in 2022
Clipboard Health connects healthcare facilities with local professionals who can work unfilled shifts. Patients get improved care, and nurses get more flexibility and higher pay. Nurses can compare work details and pay rates (or negotiate for more) in an open, transparent marketplace.
Today, healthcare facilities are understaffed, which can result in poor patient care, regulatory penalties, and employee burnout. All while local nurses have time and want to pick up extra shifts. These two parties don’t know about each other and aren’t sure if they can work together (licenses, qualifications, or even trust might get in the way). We exist to solve that problem.
While we are rapidly expanding our core business, we are not stopping there. We are launching new verticals because other types of work face similar staffing shortages and information asymmetries that we can solve. We are also launching new products because our workplace customers want help managing their full-time workers.
Being at a rapidly-growing startup means we have more opportunities for impactful work than engineers available to take it. Career-defining work is waiting for you in any direction you want to grow.
What you could work on
Here are some of the initiatives we launched recently. Engineers of any level can lead projects and often do within months (or weeks) of joining.
Trust is a vital component of any marketplace, especially where workers perform critical and life-saving work. Our workplace customers (e.g., care facilities, hospitals, dentist’s offices) want reassurance that Clipboard Health workers will show up on time and warning if they are late. Our workplaces also know that no one is perfect – workers get stuck in traffic, cars break down, or drivers can get lost finding a workplace.
We handle a large support volume daily to answer the question: “Will my nurse show up on time?”. Our Worker ETA features give workplaces accurate arrival estimates for Clipboard Health workers by leveraging device location and mapping data. Workplaces can see when their workers are on the way and accurately plan for their arrival. In addition, we have to account for inconsistent location data. Workers can lose connection, close their apps, or turn off their devices. We aim to provide ETAs while asking for the minimum required data.
Today, Worker ETA helps our workplace customers better plan for their patient’s care and ensure fully-staffed workplaces. We continue to improve the accuracy and reliability of our location data while providing location services for other teams and for new features to build upon.
Healthcare facilities rely on Clipboard Health to staff healthcare professionals so their patients are cared for. One of the most challenging experiences for our workplace customers is a last-minute cancellation from a worker they rely on. Unfortunately, this is an industry-wide problem. Last-minute cancellations, or “call-offs” in industry-speak, are an expected cost of doing business with staffing agencies. At Clipboard Health, we are changing this. Urgent Shifts are our “last line of defense” for such cancellations.
When a last-minute cancellation occurs, in seconds, we notify qualified nearby Clipboard Health workers who are within travel distance of the workplace, offering special incentives to those who book the shift. Once booked, we inform the workplace about the switch. Doing this requires accurately and performantly notifying relevant workers – considering device locations, estimated travel times, and worker qualifications. In an industry that averages 60% reliability in filling shifts, Clipboard Health has over 90% reliability in many markets.
90% is good, but we continue to improve Urgent Shifts while building new features to establish ourselves as the most reliable staffing platform in the industry.
Our marketplace experienced 5x growth in 2021 and 4x more in 2022. While trying to keep up with rapidly increasing usage, we saw performance degradation and production outages with our monolith’s MongoDB. In response, we organized an application stability group to dive deep into database performance – analyzing database logs, building production-like data sets for testing, and identifying performance bottlenecks. In addition to solving our immediate stability concerns, we improved the performance of many endpoints and wrote database performance guides for the engineering team.
Today, developers working on our backend treat database monitoring and performance as a first-class concern as we continue to scale our marketplace.
Our monolith’s weekly release process was not keeping up with our rapidly scaling team and marketplace (5x growth in 2021 and 4x more in 2022). Our weekly releases were time-consuming, review-heavy (both manual testing and product manager reviews), and prone to delays. At Clipboard Health, we look for ways to improve both quality and speed.
With continuous deployments, we set out to remove friction by retiring our weekly release process and empowering developers to release their code to production when it’s ready. To do this safely, we improved our end-to-end test coverage, built libraries to reduce the API testing effort, and created production-like test environments to allow developers to verify their changes.
We now deploy our code to production multiple times daily, and developers have complete ownership over the release process. We continue to invest in making releases faster, safer, and more manageable.
These are some of the core principles we adhere to as an engineering team.
Engineers own their work from idea to release. We enable this with automated testing and continuous deployment to production. We listen to customers, work with our product partners, and take an active role in deciding what to build. We often say, “There are no toes to step on,” and value quick decisions over broad consensus. It’s not unusual for engineers to call customers directly after launching a feature to solicit feedback.
We are a globally remote company with no HQ; writing is a core skill. We often make decisions over documents instead of meetings. We practice “working in public” by writing our thoughts, sharing updates often, and logging our decisions. We emphasize clear technical design documents and pull request descriptions.
We believe in regular feedback -- not something that happens once a quarter. We review each other’s code and debate openly. We think respectful feedback can make us better at our craft, even if it means having an uncomfortable conversation. We save our feedback in writing and use it to guide our growth plans.
We value simple solutions to complex problems. We prefer limiting our architecture to proven technologies and investing in their success with standard tooling and libraries. As we scale, we build “Lego blocks” on top of these technologies that help us move quickly. Some recent examples include libraries and frameworks for API testing, background jobs, async messaging, and microservice scaffolds. If you see something we are missing, help us build it!
Check out the videos and articles below to learn more about us.
Charles Ahmadzadeh, Engineering Manager