With state and local shelter-in-place regulations easing as the nation gingerly tries to return to business as usual, employers that can’t effectively do business using distributed/work from home employees alone face some daunting challenges.
Priority No. 1 certainly is to proactively protect the health and safety of returning employees.
To help make that happen, mHealthCoach, a Chicago-based smart care coordination platform, is now offering Employee Screening Solution.
What it is: The app-based service provides an organizational system for daily symptom screening, resources for at-risk employees and reporting capabilities that enable critical record-keeping, according to mHealthCoach Founder Aamer Ghaffar.
“One thing businesses are seeing in this pandemic is the difference in effect between a proactive approach versus a reactive one. They need an easy-to-integrate tool for sustainable, long-term threat management,” Ghaffar explains, adding that Employee Screening Solution lets employers build a safety-based infrastructure so that more employees can resume work without fear.
“Also, businesses can remain compliant with local and federal mandates, and leadership can demonstrate that they value their workforce,” he says.
Why it’s helpful: Ghaffar notes that his company’s solution follows recent, often highly complex, pandemic guidelines from national regulatory bodies. For example, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention advises all businesses to adopt a regular monitoring program, which includes “self-monitoring under the supervision of their employer’s occupational health program.” And in a new OSHA report titled Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19, the organization stresses that large and small businesses alike should have a preparedness plan—including administrative controls—before resuming operations.
“An efficient and quick action plan can reduce further workforce exposure, as well as healthcare costs for employers,” Ghaffar says, adding that mHealthCoach’s app works on mobile and desktop, requiring no set-up or download.
“Once a company is onboarded, the program takes effect within the hour,” he says. Users also receive a free Business Associate Agreement (BAA) with the option to upgrade for customized BAAs.
With mHealthCoach, employees answer self-screening questions daily for symptoms before they come to work. If results meet safety guidelines, employees receive a “health digital badge” in the form of a QR code. Ghaffer explains that the solution allows management to view real-time screening status data. If an employee needs assistance, the solution quickly directs them to available testing sites and can set up an appointment.
Employee Screening Solution offers several features for businesses to scale post-pandemic workplace management and meet privacy and safety requirements, Ghaffar says. For example, the solution provides users with exposure alerts, a “quarantine clock” and incident recording and tracking tools—including assistance with escalation protocol for at-risk employees, antibody test availability and quarantine guidelines.
Leveraging mHealthCoach’s employee management system, the app also operates using a HIPAA-compliant cloud to protect sensitive information.
“Employees also can message their employers securely,” Ghaffar adds.