$1M Awarded from National Science Foundation

Medecipher Solutions was awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant for $1M to commercialize its online decision support platform for hospital nursing managers to proactively staff and schedule nurses to meet shifting patient demand.

Medecipher Awarded $1M from NSF

Market need

Emergency departments rely on flawed scheduling systems which do not allow them to optimize their nursing resources. Grid-based systems developed from electronic health records are not equipped to meet the needs of inherently random and unpredictable emergency department arrivals and length of stay. The ability to strike the ideal balance between underutilizing and overutilizing nurses, across the department, requires a willingness to tackle this logistical issue with a level of math calculations that simply cannot be performed manually, even with the best instincts or judgment. Fortunately, more health systems are now starting to adopt predictive analytics tools, helping them best utilize assets while avoiding gridlock and long wait times for patients. At a time when hospitals and emergency departments are pressed more than ever to ‘do more with less,’ taking advantage of artificial intelligence and machine learning can open the door to solving some of the most complex challenges hospitals face.

Patient access and nurse utilization challenges have been exacerbated during the COVID-19 pandemic. Escalating nursing shortages and burnout must be addressed as fatigue behavior is rampant. With hospitals facing significant revenue losses, there is no room for inefficient use of nurses. With the support of the NSF, we are commercializing a cloud-based solution that drives annual, monthly, and daily emergency department nurse staffing decisions from a single operations-focused source of truth that incorporates each hospital’s unique position control, budgetary, nursing preference, and ease-of-use constraints.”

Stephanie Gravenor, Medecipher CEO and Co-founder

The Solution

Medecipher’s constraint-based algorithms, simulation methods and machine learning will be the turning point in optimizing emergency department operational performance. Medecipher’s innovative proprietary multi-objective optimization algorithms reduce nursing churn, decrease wait times, reduce healthcare delivery costs, and improve revenue.

Partnering with the National Science Foundation

NSF is proud to support the technology of the future by thinking beyond incremental developments and funding the most creative, impactful ideas across all markets and areas of science and engineering. With the support of our research funds, any deep technology startup or small business can guide basic science into meaningful solutions that address tremendous needs.”

Andrea Belz, Division Director of the Division of Industrial Innovation and Partnerships at NSF


Early health system customers have validated that Medecipher’s tool can be put into practice in a real emergency department setting and have expressed excitement about the early proof points and value proposition that are beginning to emerge. They have seen that the Medecipher solution can integrate well into their health IT vendor environment by creating customized staffing grids, assignment sheets, and flexing decisions. The Medecipher product is differentiated because of the ability to accurately model a hospital’s unique environment and take into account unique variable such as their position control and union constraints.

About the National Science Foundation’s Small Business Programs: America’s Seed Fund powered by NSF awards $200 million annually to startups and small businesses, transforming scientific discovery into products and services with commercial and societal impact. Startups working across almost all areas of science and technology can receive up to $2 million in funding to support research and development (R&D), helping de-risk technology for commercial success. America’s Seed Fund is congressionally mandated through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. The NSF is an independent federal agency with a budget of about $8.5 billion that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. To learn more about America’s Seed Fund powered by NSF, visit: