Cybernurse - a digital success story

Cybernurse, an innovative online nursing agency and staff management system founded two years ago by entrepreneur and hospital owner Ken Ford, addresses a number of important requirements within the nursing management and employment process in our country.
Cybernurse - a digital success story

Cybernurse provides a complete solution for payroll and permanent staff management, and delivers the same efficiency of a recruitment consultancy for temporary or freelance staff bookings. At its heart, operates a database of thousands of nurses across South Africa, accessible via an innovative online booking system to registered Cybernurse hospital clientele.

The first version of the system was intended as a search tool to look for a nurse; request a booking and book; and provides reports and downloads to enable payroll to happen. It was launched as a basic SMS-driven booking engine, which has recently passed R50m in annual revenue. Cybernurse has recently launched a beta version of its brand new version2 software, designed to take the entire process of nursing staff planning to an unsurpassed new level. It offers a full scheduling tool allowing unit managers to plan staff and costs for permanent and agency staff with a simple web-based interface. It replaces all the paperwork, spreadsheets and manual planning and creates a truly ‘Digital Ward' in the hospital.

The Cybernurse system is based on CCS, Cambrient Contentsuite System - a content management and web application development platform designed by Cambrient, a digital marketing services and technology company, which has helped leading brands use the web as a marketing and business tool. To that an original new piece of software has been included to manage the availability, SMS booking requests and bookings of nurses on the database and assist with database management. Adding many features and modifying the process has provided a module for the planning of all nursing staff and agencies to suite the needs of major hospital groups who can now efficiently plan their own staff and book their agency staff online.

Cybernurse was born because of the situation that is worsening each year as fewer nurses qualify and more qualified nurses are being poached by international hospitals. Fords vision began to take place after a number of large hospitals signed with the agency in July 2007 after a slow period where hospitals and nurses were sceptical of technology moving into a traditionally paper-and-telephone space. Ford recognized the need for a simple, rapid way for hospitals to access freelance and off-duty nurses to supplement their permanent staff and thus Cybernurse went from being an experiment to driving a major South African nursing agency by 2008 with its database of nurses working thousands of shifts per week.

There is no other nursing agency in South Africa with as big a database of nurses such as Cybernurse, which books over twelve thousand shifts online every month for nurses using the sophisticated Cybernurse technology.

With a major nursing agency to run in addition to his regular day job managing Sunshine Hospital in the east of Johannesburg, Ford has little time to spare. Still, Ford is already planning the next steps in digitizing the hospital business wanting to help hospitals to better reconcile planning with attendance - an automated way to compare the actual attendance register with the bookings on Cybernurse, and is also looking offshore, particularly at Australia, for potential partners.

At R50m in its first year and growing, the Cybernurse business is one of South Africa's technology and internet success stories. And since this is a tiny part of a multi-billion rand industry, it's a business that's only just begun. The new version is due to be launched in hospitals later this year, and is once again built on Cambrient's CCS technology - the same system used by customers such as Nedbank, Pick ‘n Pay, South African Tourism and Toyota.

To access the Cybernurse website visit

Cambrient has produced meaningful digital success stories for more than 10 years. With a full service offering of strategic thinking, creative design and a proprietary technology platform, Cambrient is a complete outsourced digital solution for any larger corporate or dedicated web business wanting to build a strong brand and improve relationships with customers, employees and partners. For more information visit or call 011 807 8570.

22 May 2009 12:06