Editor’s note on 11/09/2021: The vaccine mandate referred to in this article has been temporarily blocked. References to the mandate are intended for organizations planning to implement these rules.
By Debra Spamer, vice president of business development of Company Nurse LLC
Organizations across the country have been impacted by the federal vaccine plan; faced with the sudden need for a simple, digital way to gather employees’ test and vaccination information.
Employers aren’t the only ones who will need to adapt to a new process — employees will need to as well, learning how to submit their test results and/or vaccination statuses. And once employees see first-hand how a digital tool can simplify the process, they will expect other components of their workplace health and safety to be just as accessible.
Luckily, employers have been anticipating this need. In fact, a Mercer survey reports that 68% of employers globally plan to increase their spend on digital health and wellness. The question is, how should your organization allocate its funds, so it is prepared for the future of digital workplace health management? In this article, I will explore the challenges your organization will need to overcome and how it can do so with the right strategy and investment in technology.
Testing and Vaccination Management
Employers must first, of course, address the immediate need to have an efficient testing and vaccination reporting process. The right process is vital to help follow these regulations to avoid substantial fines of up to $14,000 per violation. Your organization should look for a solution that includes secure reporting and information management so that they can prove that they are following these rules, if necessary.
Employers should also look for a solution that communicates the proper protocols to COVID-19 positive employees and educates them on how to get the care they need. For example, if an employee reports a positive COVID test, they can receive instructions from your organization’s HR team, suggestions for facilities to receive care at, and a point of contact for further questions.
Effects of the Mandate on the Employee Experience
With the right solution, employees will quickly adapt to digital Pandemic health and safety tools. And once employees see the ease and efficiency of these tools, they will demand digital access to other health and wellness benefits.
Experience with Pandemic reporting tools will help employees to better utilize these other digital health and wellness solutions. Employees can take full advantage of the benefits and resources that organizations work so hard to provide their employees.
Another important effect of the mandate that employers must consider are the privacy and security concerns that have been on employees’ minds. Employees are being asked to enter private health information about their COVID vaccination and testing statuses, so organizations should ensure that employees feel comfortable and secure in entering this information. As well, employers will need to ensure that personal health records are kept separate from employee HR files.
The Future of Digital Workplace Health Management
Employees will better adapt to a health and wellness solution that has a similar process to the Pandemic process they had to recently adopt. Your organization should look for a solution that hosts both COVID tools and other health and wellness tools, to make the transition as easy as possible.
Consider other information reporting and alerting processes that can be simplified like your Pandemic plan. This may include reporting attendance or absence, workplace hazards, and information technology issues. Your organization could also benefit from alerts for safety, events, general info, and overall employee communication.
In addition, consider health benefits that you can incorporate so that employees can access all of their health and wellness resources in one solution including medical, dental, and vision care; employee assistance and wellness programs; an intake, triage, and reporting system for workers’ compensation claims; and more.
Every benefit provider has their own website and app, each requiring a download and different password to remember. By housing your benefits under one solution, preferably with single sign-on for easy access, your employees will have a seamless process, increasing their utilization of benefits.
Make sure that this tool can address the safety and privacy concerns of your employees. To avoid the security issues that may arise from downloading an app, look for a tool that works and feels like an app but that can be accessed via link. Your organization should also ensure that your solution supports HIPAA technical safeguards for encryption, multi-factor authentication, and audit logging.
Preparing for the future of digital health management for the workplace can seem overwhelming. But with Lintelio, Company Nurse’s digital solution for organizations’ health and safety services, you can provide both COVID-related tools in our Pandemic Module and other health and wellness solutions in one seamless experience.
Lintelio simplifies HR and admin processes by providing employees with increased employee satisfaction and retention; reducing employer claim costs; and improving the overall health and wellness of the workforce. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more!