Today’s contributed post comes from regular Pocketables contributor Nick Rojas
As the current CVOID-19 pandemic continues to affect everyday life drastically, companies are creating new ways to monitor employee health so that businesses can safely resume operation. Tracking employee health is a complicated topic. Employees do have privacy protections, and there are questions employers are not legally allowed to ask according to HIPAA protections. Companies have created and discovered a variety of employee health monitoring systems, each with pros and cons. Some businesses have opted for asking employees permitted questions and rely on self-reporting to track employee health.
Trusting your employees to report their health accurately is an ideal situation. Still, it can be ruined by one employee not being truthful, and many companies are turning to health monitoring apps. There is a growing selection of health monitoring apps for employers, and choosing the app that best suits your company will depend on your specific needs. It would help if you also talked with your employees about your preferred app to explain the app and make sure they are comfortable with health monitoring. It is essential to ensure your staff are not sick and spreading the virus, but you also must respect their personal privacy.
Health Monitoring Apps Are Not EMR Systems
Before diving into COVID-19 health monitoring apps, it is essential to differentiate between these apps and traditional electronic medical record systems, commonly shortened to EMR systems. EMR systems are used by healthcare professionals to manage a patient’s medical information. Some EMR systems are designed for specialist treatment like rehab centers, but most medical offices use a general EMR system. EMR systems include features like billing integration, patient data management, document scanning, prescription tracking, appointment reminders, and more.
Employee health monitoring apps designed for COVID-19 are far more limited in scope. Most monitoring apps let employees log their symptoms, complete health surveys, and track confirmed cases of COVID-19 within the organization. You, nor any other employee, will have access to an employee’s full medical history or any information not pertaining to COVID-19. While these apps can make monitoring employee health easier through digital centralization, they will not replace proper medically recommended face coverings and personal health monitoring as the most effective ways of slowing the spread of disease in a company.
SoCo COVID-19 Check
The county of Sonoma in California developed this app to help businesses safely reopen. Employees are asked to complete a quick self-assessment before work every day to check for symptoms or potential exposure to the virus. The employer is to ask that employees check to ensure their temperature is under 100 F each day and ensure all employees are following local health orders for face coverings. As far as monitoring apps go, SoCo COVID-19 Check is simple and not cumbersome on the employees. An employer could accomplish the same end results of the app by talking with employees daily, but the app streamlines the process, so it does not require an undue amount of time from the employer.
Harri Health Check
Harri added the health check to their Harri Live and TeamLive apps so employees and employers can track their health. Everyone can log their symptoms, answer screening questions, and report temperature checks before going into work. Pre-work requirements can be customized depending on location on the region, county, or state level. Employees that do not pass the pre-determined screening processes are told to stay home, and HR is notified. This takes the guesswork away from managers who are not medical professionals and gives all staff a clear assessment to determine if they are healthy enough to work.
Vivid Learning Infectious Disease Tracking Tool
Vivid Learning created the Infectious Disease Tracking Tool to help companies of any size navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. Workers can register their COVID-19 status, log their symptoms, and report their actions like self-isolation or exposure to an infected person. Notification systems can alert staff to specific changes like a coworker confirming their infection or which specific symptoms a coworker is experiencing so others can watch their own health. The simple online form sends all of this data into a dashboard so management can track the organization’s COVID-19 status in real-time.
Creating a new normal where businesses can resume requires tracking the virus and ensuring sick employees do not infect coworkers. Though most COVID-19 tracking apps rely on self-reporting, tracking who is ill and who is self-isolating helps managers make informed and safe staffing decisions. If each business does its part to limit the spread of COVID-19 by tracking employee health and sending sick employees home, we can globally track the virus’s spread. Once we can track and trace the virus, slowing the spread and containing the disease becomes easier.
Guest author bio
Guest author bio
Nick Rojas combines 20 years of experience working with and consulting for small to medium business and a passion for journalism to help readers grow. He writes about technology, marketing, and social media for the aspiring entrepreneur. When Nick is not sharing his expertise, he can be found spending time at the beach with his dog Presto. @NickARojas