A recent Wall Street Journal article titled “Disjointed COVID-19 Apps Across U.S. Raise Questions About Tech’s Role” highlights the disparity of state-sponsored tracking apps and the need for a national approach to track and trace apps like the system from Google and Apple. It seems that many state governments are fixated on track and trace as the solution for what technology should do to support the pandemic efforts.
Certainly, a national approach to track and trace apps would be helpful, but would not be a silver bullet — even if it did work flawlessly, everyone used it, and users isolated and got tested when indicated.
The fundamental issue with these track and trace systems on their own is that they rely on the public to police themselves, self-isolate, and get tested.
When we look at the biggest challenges of getting employees back to work safely, track and trace solutions don’t support employers in their responsibilities for the health and safety of their work environment. Even worse, these state and national solutions may even encourage employers to say “not my problem”.
Covid Safety in the Workplace
Employers are well-positioned as change-agents. Legally, they are accountable for the health and safety practices within their work environments. They can implement policies and govern employee behavior in safety protocols, isolation, and testing. They are motivated to actively prevent and mitigate COVID exposures in their workplaces, or they could risk the shut-down of their entire business.
However, implementing the governance, management, and business practices required to address COVID is completely new for many. For large organizations with numerous facilities and work locations this effort becomes a significant challenge.
No Single Silver Bullet
Many businesses have sought to react quickly with one-off COVID interventions and solutions that are not effective nor financially viable over the long-term. In the beginning, many organizations focused on mass testing. However, that proved to be expensive. In addition, a negative test was only good in the moments after the test was completed.
Other public institutions, such as colleges, have adopted the Google-Apple Track and Trace app. However, compliance with protocols, enforcing isolation and restricting access to campus remain challenges.
Covid Management as an End-to-End Process
As stated before, there is no silver bullet for addressing COVID. For large enterprises managing COVID in the workplace, it is an end-to-end process and includes the following functions:
- Education and Prevention
- Daily Screening
- Automated Tracking and Tracing
Apps that address all the functions above in an integrated way are fundamental to addressing COVID in the workplace.
The Desperate Need for Covid Case Management and Governance
One of the biggest technology misses in general has been the lack of support for COVID management and governance. Most organizations have struggled to develop the governance, management, and business practices required to address COVID and are desperate for tools to help managers navigate the process.
Necessary management and governance functionality include:
- Workflow, Reminders, and Notifications
- Compliance Management
- Workforce Status
- Exposure Management
- Actionable Tasks
- Case Notes
Platforms that address all the functions above in an integrated way are fundamental to the effectiveness of management and governance any organization.
At Healthfully, we have seen first-hand the enormous challenges that large employers face. We have worked with employers collaboratively to provide a complete technology solution that addresses the issues in this article.