Old school technology — calling, texting, email — may make up the backbone of communications between staffing firms and workers, but Foreman Therapy Services was thinking differently.

The Dallas-based company wanted something more efficient when communicating with its therapists working out in the field.

Foreman Therapy Services provides therapists to home health agencies, and those therapists travel to patients’ homes to do their work. Traditionally, a scheduler would have to assign a therapist after looking at a map and then contact the therapist via calling, text or email and wait for a response.

The company’s solution is an app that finds that determines the best therapists that includes considerations such as location of the therapist and skills and then lets therapists choose where they want to work and allows them to accept or decline an offer.

And Foreman Therapy Services’ app was awarded the second annual Innovation Award this last November at the annual Healthcare Staffing Summit in Washington DC. It was one of three finalists. Each finalist presented their idea and the award was based on an audience poll after the presentations.

Nate Foreman, president of Foreman Therapy Services, says a bottom line for the app is that it helps better match home healthcare providers with patients.

“It’s not like a first come first serve closest therapist gets the patient,” Foreman says. The app finds the providers who are able to take the patients, then a different set of metrics is displayed for each therapist that responds that they could take the patient. Based on the displayed metrics for each therapist, a human being still makes an informed decision on the best therapist for this patient. “All the current home health software doesn’t cover this piece of the problem,” Foreman says.

The app was two years in the making, and three developers are continuing to work on it with improvements coming each day.

The company plans to take the app to market in the Spring. Home healthcare agencies represent the target audience of the app.

Another benefit for home healthcare agencies is that it allows them to scale without increasing overhead

Nominations for the Innovation Award were submitted in advance to Staffing Industry Analysts, and the research team picks three finalists who present their ideas at the Healthcare Staffing Summit. Finalists are chosen based on the level of innovation and originality as well as potential impact on the healthcare staffing market. Attendees at the event then vote on a winner, and Foreman Therapy Services received 60% of the vote.

The two other finalists in the competition were Avantas with a presentation titled “Superforecasting: Optimizing the Workforce Mix in Healthcare” and Cross Country Healthcare with a presentation titled  “Re-Imagining the MSP Model: Building Supplier Relationships.”