Guide To Remote Workforce During COVID-19 Pandemic
- February 1, 2021
- Posted by: Andy Smith
- Category: Healthcare IT
It’s a new year, yet 2020 continues to haunt us. The deadly coronavirus known as COVID-19 created a global pandemic and a need for an efficient remote workforce is top priority. The world is still struggling to cope with. Public places have become proxies for the spread of the virus, so are the hospitals and healthcare facilities. People just don’t feel safe anymore, neither do physicians and doctors.
While the COVID-19 vaccine is still in its initial stage, businesses and clinics are reconsidering their policies to ensure the safety of their working staff. Medical practices are navigating the technological spectrum to create a safe, secure and efficient remote workforce. Although the process isn’t easy, we’ve highlighted few key points for checks and balances that ensure secure communication, efficient staff productivity during these unpredictable times.
Update Roles for On-Site/Remote Employees
By now many organizations have a clear understanding of their staff. During these times, companies are evaluating their employees to determine which of them needs to be present on-site. This process can be done asking yourself if an employee is on call with a patient. Does it matter where the call is taking or how company data drive is accessed? If ‘no’, then that employee is your remote staff.
However, if an employee is going to work from home, they must have accurate expectations. In order to do that, protocols for an efficient remote workforce have to be put in place. These protocols should be clear about what you expect from your employees. Obviously, the employees’ current job rules should be included but they require an updated job description and role.
Manage Expectations from Staff and Management
Ensure your employees, working remotely, stay briefed on the business and protocols. Since every remote worker will be balancing work and their home life as well as other personal matters, session recaps provide employees a chance to catch up when or if they can’t come to a live meeting or briefing.
To ease such issues, follow these guidelines.
- Use communication software such as Cliq or Slack whenever possible to ensure team collaboration.
- Set up a system for project-tracking to ensure completion of task within the deadline.
- Provide accessibility of IT support for all remote workers.
- Develop a newsletter or checkpoint call so that the team can stay posted on the progression of projects or upcoming goals set by the practice.
- Host group meetings online for weekly discussion so that team members stay connected.
- Online forums allow a way to share information, swap notes or collaborate for future projects.
Remote workers need to set a separate space at home for patient calls or group meetings to ensure zero interruptions. Once a clear agenda is set, you’ll start to notice improvement in productivity.
The Right Use of Tech
Once confirmation of remote candidates, there should be a strict protocols. Equipping workers with secure devices and networks to continue work from home. Evaluating new technology and protocol is to allow remote work is critical. Practices are to be prepared on providing remote equipment, devices, accessibility and guidelines to ensure HIPAA laws are not violated. Telehealth, patient billing and scheduling are a vital part to your remote plan, so may need to start evaluating the right software or hardware. Productivity suites such as Microsoft Office365 and Google G Suite, provide local content document management.
Protect Patient Data at All Cost
Lastly, secure access and data protection is vital for any medical practice. You need to take measures to ensure the safety of data while communicating and interacting with patients. Working with a secure EHR, HIPAA complaint service such as MediFusion is a good move.
The need to create a remote working environment is about protecting the health of both patient and staff, minimizing any outbreak or spread of the deadly virus. This goes without saying, but ending the threat of COVID-19 is important. Finally, working from home does have its own set of problems such as stress. Which is why it is important to eat, exercise and take some downtime away from the computer screen to maintain mental well-being and ensure more productivity working from home.