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Cleveland, Ohio

Lissette Rivera of SafeCare

Meet Lissette Rivera, founder of SafeCare, a monitoring agency for the health care industry.
What is SafeCare?
SafeCare is the CarFax for the healthcare industry. We help long term care facilities and home care agencies identify problem employees through continuous background checks. SafeCare monitors nationwide criminal records and state departments of health public records, such as certification data and abuse listings.
We see stories of abuse every day in the news and therefore the U.S. Inspector General researched the problem. His report linked nurse aides to the increasing abuse problem. Nurse aides have the highest number of convictions among direct care workers.
The inspector general reported that the current system of background checking is limited in scope -- only checks are conducted in the subject's current state of residence -- allowing abusers to sneak through the system. One in five nurse aides currently employed have a conviction that should have disqualified them from employment.
SafeCare complements the current requirements, adding an extra layer of protection. We offer facilities a way to sell prospective residents peace of mind and therefore increase the facilities' occupancy rate. The consumer can run reports, holding facilities and agencies accountable and, in turn, boosting consumer confidence in the facilities and agencies.
How did you come up with the idea? 
I came up with the idea for SafeCare from a combination of personal and professional experience. My mother has MS and had in-home caregivers for 10 years and has been in a nursing home for the past 10 years. I am a former lobbyist focused mostly in the healthcare industry. I was disgusted with the daily news stories of abuse in long term care.
What was the biggest surprise in starting your business?
How short a day becomes. Twenty-four hours seems like a much shorter amount of time these days.  
What resources/organizations here did you take advantage of and how did they help?
Bizdom, GLIDE and JumpStart
Where have you turned to find capital to grow your company and which institutions have provided it?
SafeCare LLC is part of the Bizdom family. Bizdom is a non-profit startup accelerator founded by serial entrepreneur Dan Gilbert, founder and chairman of Quicken Loans, majority owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers, and general partner at Detroit Venture Partners.
What are some of the advantages to doing business in Cleveland?
Cleveland has a rich entrepreneurial environment. Like other major cities, Cleveland has all the amenities, quick access to other major cities like Chicago, New York and Boston and a low cost of living. Through Bizdom and the Quicken Loans family of companies they're creating a vibrant community of tech startups that's growing fast downtown.
What’s next for you and your company?
For the company, in the near future, we plan to have a strong reseller network. In the next three years we want SafeCare to become a resource for reliable facilities and employees. I recently quit my day job to pursue growing SafeCare. 

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