By: Sean Ludwig, Contributor
U.S. Chamber of Commerce
Companies that are reopening while COVID-19 continues may want to adopt a return-to-work service that can help them track employee health and assess risk.
Many companies that closed their doors when the COVID-19 pandemic started have now reopened in some capacity or are on track to reopen soon. To keep employees and customers safe, most businesses have adopted new practices,including mask-wearing, spacing out workspaces to accommodate social distancing, taking temperatures and much more.
While these practices provide peace of mind and help businesses meet state and local requirements, some companies may also want to invest in third-party software and services to add another layer of safety for employees. Dedicated “return-to-work” services can assist with streamlining health screening, risk assessment, COVID-19 virus and antibody testing and other important considerations.
Here are six companies offering return-to-work services for employees as they come back.
Chattanooga, Tenn.-based tech startup Base Camp Health has created an application called Ascend that provides COVID-19 questionnaires, risk assessments, individual risk profiles, recommended paths back to the workplace, contact tracing and more. Base Camp Health says Ascend has an “AI risk engine” that can “combine reported factors with hundreds of other known risks to predict infection risk ahead of any confirmed case,” making it a good fit for large workplaces and schools.
Notably, Base Camp Health has also partnered with Franklin, Tenn.-based startup RxGenomix, which provides its own COVID-19 return-to-work solutions. RxGenomix offers diagnostic saliva-based tests for COVID-19 that can be shipped overnight, daily monitoring and point-of-entry screening applications and one-on-one return-to-work consulting.
Occupational health company Concentra, which has more than 500 medical centers in 44 states, has recently added a suite of return-to-work services focused on responding to COVID-19 threats. Concentra offers immediate and long-term solutions that include health assessments, RNA testing to detect coronavirus in asymptomatic individuals, antibody testing to determine possible immunity and in-person clinical exams.
While Concentra is a national medical provider offering these types of services, regional care providers such as St. Luke’s Occupational Medicine also provide return-to-work programs that may be worth exploring, depending on what insurance providers your company works with and where your company is based.
Fitbit, the health-focused wearable technology company, has provided workplace solutions for years in which employers provide incentives to employees who wear Fitbit trackers and meet various health goals. Now, the company has created a new tool called Fitbit Care Ready for Work, which can guide employees through a COVID-19 daily check-in that gives employees “access to key health metrics from their Fitbit devices along with exposure, symptom, and temperature logging.” Then employers can use that data to determine employee readiness and assess risk. This solution would likely be a great option for any company that already uses Fitbit services and has companies coming back to the workplace.
Global security solutions firm G4S recently launched its Return to Work Assurance Program to offer eight specific solutions to help employers navigate COVID-19. These solutions include temperature monitoring, PPE detection to make sure people are wearing masks, contact tracing, occupancy limiting solutions, hazard risk assessment tools, location tracking and more. G4S says all of the solutions are informed by “regulatory guidance provided by agencies such as the CDC, OSHA, and the FDA.” On top of this, G4S also has created a free 30-page guide that offers practical guidelines and considerations to help organizations adjust and operate safely in the coronavirus era.
Verily Life Sciences, a subsidiary of Google-parent Alphabet, announced in March that it would launch a COVID-19 testing program that has since expanded to 13 states. Now the company has recently added a new program called Healthy at Work that can provide COVID-19 diagnostic testing, daily symptom screening, population analytics and ongoing safety controls for employers. Companies can use the Healthy at Work program to monitor results and analytics regarding employee health and read the most up-to-date public health guidance. Verily says its data science experts will continue to “adapt the program for the rapidly changing COVID-19 landscape.”
Welnys, a marketplace for on-premise workplace health and wellness services, has added the ability to purchase COVID-19 Return to Work Services as part of its offerings focused on making employers and employees feel safer upon going back to the work. These Return to Work Services include on-site temperature taking, nasal- or saliva-based COVID-19 tests, and antibody testing, all of which can be purchased in any quantity. Welnys’ return-to-work options may work especially well for small businesses that can’t invest in a larger return-to-work program. The company also offers multiple solutions for employees that are planning to continue working remotely during COVID-19.
CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.