Many organizations with onsite employee health clinics initiated their occupational health programs for compliance reasons, with risk avoidance as a major driver. In “normal” circumstances, health surveillance activities such as tracking and managing required audiometry, pulmonary function, respirator fit and other tests, and documenting, managing and reporting on occupational illnesses and injuries consume a significant portion of time for clinic personnel.
In the season of COVID-19, onsite employee health clinics face a host of new risk avoidance challenges. Employers are relying on occ health leaders to navigate COVID-19 symptom monitoring, return-to-work situations, employee travel policies and many other issues, and do so in a manner in that exhibits good faith efforts and investments to protect workers and mitigate risk in anticipation of inevitable lawsuits and regulatory investigations.
Clinic personnel are hard at work creating processes for identifying individuals who have COVID-19 signs, symptoms, and/or a history of travel to virus-affected areas to help identify exposure risks for workers and implement appropriate control measures. Such processes require strong technology support to collect and manage data, and a lack of infrastructure to manage employee monitoring, testing, contact tracing and widespread return to work is a ticking time bomb that significantly increases reputational risk.
If your clinic is experiencing challenges while managing your organization’s COVID-19 response, now may be the right time to make a strong case to your organization's C-suite for increased investment in employee health programming and the digital infrastructure to support new initiatives. If there’s one bright spot in this pandemic, it’s that the situation has shined a spotlight on the absolutely critical importance of a strong occupational and employee health function — including a robust health information technology infrastructure.
We created a couple tools to help you do just that. to learn about 7 essential components of a better business case for employee health IT. You'll also gain access to a slide presentation with talking points to help you facilitate the discussion internally.
And, if you would like to discuss your specific needs and challenges, let us know. We'd love to help.