health surveillance is a team sport

Apr 11, 2017 9:00:00 AM — by Jeff Donnell

My last post focused on the benefits of automated health surveillance for operating employee health clinics and managing compliance. This post will explore the value of getting employees and supervisors in on the act.

When comparing analogous self-service models, look no further than the airline industry. Gone are the days when booking a trip required a travel agent and a soul-sucking wait in a long line at the ticket counter. Today, most of us go online (or use a mobile app) to schedule flights, select seats, pre-pay a princely sum for checked luggage, download or print boarding passes, and provide necessary information in advance. This is convenient for us, and it saves time and money for the airline.

Taking a page from the air carrier playbook, the ideal health surveillance program automatically notifies an employee in advance of required tests and exams based on panel membership. Surveillance panel rules trigger an email to the employee based on due dates, and the email links to an employee portal where an appointment can be scheduled — enabling the employee to select an open slot based on the required appointment type. Once scheduled, the program places a private appointment on the employee calendar in the company email application. How easy, right?

The same employee portal prompts completion of pre-appointment questionnaires — eliminating the need to show up early and complete paperwork in the clinic waiting room. Questionnaire responses populate the health surveillance program, saving clinic personnel from manually entering data from a paper form.

If an employee fails to schedule a required surveillance appointment, the program automatically generates a reminder email. If the employee fails to show for a scheduled appointment, another reminder is generated, and a supervisor can be notified if the employee is in danger of decertification. Automating this back and forth eliminates multiple phone calls and improves clinic staff efficiency.

When surveillance test and exams are completed, work status reports can be generated and posted to both an employee portal and a supervisor portal. This gives employees and their supervisors real-time visibility to current work status, restrictions, health surveillance enrollment, and due lists. It also saves clinic staff from fielding additional calls to get necessary information.

Speaking of supervisors, it often makes sense to manually enroll an employee in a health surveillance program. This can be done on a supervisor portal where an employee (or group of employees) can be selected and surveillance panel membership can be ordered. A few clicks and a couple of minutes, and voila — it’s done. No need for multiple phone calls to coordinate the effort.

While this may sound too good to be true, all the functionality (and resulting value) described above can be found in the Enterprise Health solution. It is, after all, 2017. You can use information technology to manage and enhance your travel experiences. The same goes for your health surveillance program.

 

   

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