Enabling informed decision support in the return to work and school
Informed decision support
May 27, 2020
Since the beginning of 2020, the world has been experiencing the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The virus has left its permanent mark on countries around the globe.
The pandemic also brought parts of the economy to a standstill. As a result of business and school closures, the national unemployment rate reached the highest recorded monthly rate in history.1Healthcare workers2 lost their jobs, as non-essential procedures were postponed. Among those Americans who were fortunate enough to keep their jobs, an overwhelming number were forced to work remotely. In fact, in an MIT Technology Review Insights survey, over two-thirds of 464 executives reported that since the start of the pandemic, more than 80% of their workforce has been working remotely.3
Now, as the spread of the coronavirus slows down in parts of the world, businesses and schools seek to restore full operations in order to enable business continuity. Many employees feel a similar anticipation. One survey concluded that 72% are eager to return to the office.4 This next phase that society faces requires a delicate balance, enabling organizations to once again prosper while maintaining the health and safety of individuals, be it employees, students or others entering their buildings.
There is one crucial element in this new stage: Every component of a reentry plan should be based on informed decisions, leaning heavily on expert guidance and data. By helping to prevent the further spread of the virus, organizations can work toward restoring full operations without regressing and once again shutting down.
Return to normal with decision support
First, management teams will need to stay up to date on the latest federal, state and local restrictions and ensure compliance. While certain restrictions may be lifted, they can also be put back in place if there is a local uptick in confirmed cases. Local businesses and schools need to comply with these ever-changing guidelines to help ensure the safety of their employees and students.
Businesses and schools will need clear policies on mask-wearing, social distancing and sanitation procedures in the office, as well as when isolations and quarantines are required. These policies will vary depending on local health regulations as well as organizational needs.
Technology that informs
While there was a significant increase in the use of technological tools during the early stages of the pandemic with many employees working remotely, the need to leverage technology is now even greater.
Roche recently launched NAVIFY® Remote Monitor for this purpose. The secure, data-driven decision support solution collects self-reported risk factors and displays recommendations for individuals returning to work or school during the COVID-19 pandemic.
With NAVIFY Remote Monitor, individuals are asked to complete a survey and report specific health conditions through a private mobile app. The mobile app automatically and securely links user data to a companion dashboard through a secure cloud infrastructure. The dashboard applies logic to user inputs, yielding real-time recommendations. Finally, receptionists, security guards or other personnel confirm whether or not individuals are cleared to enter the building.
The robust and comprehensive solution that NAVIFY Remote Monitor offers is necessary on several levels.
In the World Health Organization’s recommendations on international travel during the pandemic, the following is stated: “Temperature screening alone, at exit or entry, is not an effective way5 to stop international spread, since infected individuals may be in incubation period, may not express apparent symptoms early on in the course of the disease, or may dissimulate fever through the use of antipyretics.” The same holds true for entry into office buildings and schools. With NAVIFY Remote Monitor, institutions have the ability to collect data beyond just body temperature, asking individuals for additional necessary health information in the surveys.
The system is fully customizable, enabling organizations to create and configure multiple risk-stratification questionnaires based on CDC and local public health guidance, as well as their own policies specific to their department, site or campus. In addition to vital signs, the questionnaires can include checklists for policies implemented in institutions’ reentry plans. As guidelines and policies change, administrators can create new surveys. Through the streamlined system, management can help ensure that all employees are following the latest public health and company guidelines.
Finally, as eager as people may be to return to work or school, one concern they may have is the privacy of their data. NAVIFY Remote Monitor adheres to privacy and employment laws, securing and protecting individuals’ data to enable utmost privacy.
Safely returning to work and school in the new normal
The shutdown of hospitals, schools and businesses – whether fully or partially – came suddenly and abruptly for many. As challenging as the situation was, it introduced valuable lessons on resilience and adaptability. Restoring operations will come with its own challenges and lessons. But now, organizations have the technology and the tools they need to reopen safely in this new normal, tapping into informed decisions for the health of their businesses, and more importantly, for the health of their people.
NAVIFY Remote Monitor is only available in the United States and is for use ONLY by individuals over the age of 18.
Roche does not provide any guidance or medical advice. All guidance displayed in the NAVIFY Remote Monitor solution is based on recommendations from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or has been created, reviewed, and/or approved for use by your employer or educational institution.
References & notes
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2020) ‘Unemployment rate rises to record high 14.7 percent in April 2020’, 13 May.
Torry, H. and Evans, M. (2020) ‘Health-care workers see steep job losses from coronavirus’, The Wall Street Journal, 8 May.
Faethm, Beatty, C. and Crepaldi, N. (2020) ‘Covid-19 and the workforce: Critical workers, productivity, and the future of AI’, MIT Technology Review Insights.
Fluker, D. (2020) ‘New survey: nearly 3 in 4 employees are eager to return to the office following COVID-19’, Glassdoor, 27 May 27.
World Health Organization. (2020) ‘Updated WHO recommendations for international traffic in relation to COVID-19 outbreak’, 29 February.