For many, the past two years or so have created challenges for the already-changing healthcare sector, including Employee Health. Today, urgent pandemic mandates have come into play alongside longer-standing – and equally important – requirements. It’s clear that as recent times continue to change and evolve so must the healthcare arena.
The good news is, Employee Health programs can prepare for this changing future, equipping themselves to more effectively meet the demands and needs of this emerging landscape. Here are a few ways EH departments can continue to be both successful and responsible in caring for their staff:
Track Exposures Around the Clock
Hospital employee exposure tracking has always been crucial, but the rise of the pandemic – especially the Delta variant – has pushed its importance to the forefront. With a viral load of 1,000 times higher than previous forms of the virus, it is at least twice as contagious and becomes detectable around two days earlier.1,2 New variants (possibly more contagious) will likely continue to surface.3
With this new reality, employee health personnel must continue to make sure their responses to employee exposures meets federal and state guidelines or requirements.4 The effective management of workplace exposures is, of course, multi-faceted. Still, access to a secure tool that easily tracks multiple exposures can greatly help ease this burden. For example, Net Health’s Employee Health software offers employers a compliant way to automate, track, and integrate crucial exposure data.
Maintain Clear Communication in Remote Settings
As of July 2021, there were 38 times more telehealth visits than in February 2020, a rate that seems to have stabilized.5 Patients and providers seem more favorable to remote care, and more healthcare-related services can now be performed virtually.
One of the most important aspects of a remote employer-employee relationship is communication. This also applies to hospital employee health, which is traditionally based on centralized workplaces. Though hospital-based care will never become fully location-independent, these telehealth trends may still impact parts of the sector. Here are a few questions EH employers might ask to ensure any transitions to decentralized work is simple to understand and follow:Is the communications system mobile-friendly?
- Are employees comfortable using it remotely?
- Do employees have necessary mobile communication equipment?
- What is the current quality of communication (how can gaps be addressed?)
Streamline Employee Compliance Records
From OSHA requirements for personal protective equipment use to accurate reporting of medical records and mobile immunization tracking, EH staff are required to follow through numerous day-to-day tasks as their responsibilities have continued to grow in recent years. Additionally, they are also prompted to review employee records on a regular basis. In order to ensure all employee records are up to date, reliable software solutions can be the answer. Not only can effective EHRs help EH departments stay on track, they can also ensure hospitals are current with recent compliance regulations.
The future of healthcare brings with it both exciting developments as well as certain challenges. However, with careful, well-designed planning, EH employers can continue to rise with the changes and meet the new future that awaits them.
Interested to see how you can improve your EH procedures? Find out more with Net Health Employee Health.
1 MIT Medical, “When Should I Be Tested? How Soon Will I Be Contagious? Are Things Different with Delta?” July 21, 2021.
2 ABC News, “Why Scientists Are Talking About Viral Load and the Delta Variant,” August 7, 2021.
3 SPIEGEL International, “Winter Worries: The Changing Virus,” September 15, 2021.
4 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Management of Potentially Infectious Exposures and Illness,” 2019.
5 McKinsey & Company, “Telehealth: A Quarter-Trillion-Dollar Post-COVID-19 Reality?” July 2021.