By Debra Spamer, vice president of business development at Company Nurse LLC
As we approach one year of the COVID-19 pandemic, organizations understand that daily health screenings are here to stay and that now is the time to re-evaluate existing screening programs. In addition, organizations are looking to implement testing and vaccination management for employees.
But health screening, testing, and vaccination management solutions need to navigate evolving COVID-19 guidelines and regulations. Here’s what you should consider when re-evaluating and/or implementing these solutions.
Re-Evaluate Your Screening Process
In the beginning of the pandemic, many organizations turned to health screening solutions that seemed simple to implement but, instead, created more work. These solutions include paper forms or basic screening apps that do not stay updated with changing CDC recommendations as well as ADA and OSHA regulations related to COVID-19 exposures.
Make sure your organization’s screening solution adheres to COVID-19 guidelines and regulations to protect both your employees’ health and your organization from litigation. And, keep in mind that CDC guideline compliance is critical for ADA compliance.
With guidelines and regulations evolving, your screening solution must have the flexibility to adapt with new questions and procedures. Consider a screening tool that automatically adjusts to new CDC recommendations, so that your organization does not need to make manual updates to comply.
Of course, your organization may also have to comply with its own unique rules, as well as local regulations. As such, your screening solution should allow you to add additional, unique questions and workflows that can be updated, as needed. This makes it much easier to ensure you’re asking your employees the right questions and providing them with the right procedures.
Implement Testing and Vaccination Management
When navigating COVID-19 vaccination and testing management for your organization, you’ll need to ensure that your organization adheres to COVID-19-related guidelines and regulations.
For instance, will your organization be mandating COVID-19 vaccinations for your employees, once the vaccine is available to the general public? AP News reports that employers can mandate the COVID-19 vaccine, but with exemptions for medical and religious reasons, as well as other caveats. Or, if your organization mandates (or is considering mandating) COVID-19 tests, understand that while organizations can require standard COVID-19 tests, some tests are not allowed to be mandated (i.e. antibody tests).
Even if your organization is not mandating vaccinations and/or tests, it should be managing this information to help maintain a healthy workplace. Testing and vaccination management allows for contact tracing and allows your organization to plan your employees’ returns to the workplace and/or schedules. Knowing who is vaccinated allows your organization to know who can work in certain settings and be near others who are vaccinated.
Like health screening guidelines, testing and vaccination guidelines may evolve. Be sure that the testing and vaccination management program you choose for your organization is flexible to comply with new guidelines and regulations.
Finally, consider how your employees will enter screening, testing, and vaccination information, as well as how your organization will protect this PII (Personally Identifiable Information) and PHI (Protected Health Information) when receiving and storing it. An excel sheet stored on your HR manager’s desktop can’t fully protect this information.
Look for a screening, testing, and vaccination management program that allows your organization’s users to input their information safely, with user verification. You should also ensure this program stores this information is stored securely, in a password-protected admin portal.
Managing this information also allows your organization to prove it is adhering to COVID-19-related guidelines and regulations. Your organization can show that it is asking the right questions and providing employees with the right processes for screening, testing, and vaccination.
Company Nurse understands and fulfills all of the above screening, testing, and vaccination management needs of its clients with screen by Company Nurse.
Want to learn how screen by Company Nurse can further help your organization? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please note: You should keep screening records separate from employee files and consult with legal counsel when implementing screening, testing, and/or vaccination management.