Official workplace guidelines have changed a lot throughout the past two years. And as they’ve evolved, it’s been the responsibility of organizations to ensure they remain compliant with these changes during their day-to-day operations. That can feel like an uphill battle at times, especially in healthcare and first response, where screenings, injury tracking, and vaccination records can prove complex and difficult to properly catalog.
Because the COVID-19 Community Level Model leaves many decisions up to individual employers, many organizations in and outside the realm of healthcare have adopted a hybrid work environment. This model would see some employees working in the office on certain days, while some work at home. This system creates a staggered effect, where groups of people usually switch off every so often from working on-site to working at home. It’s a great way to limit interactions and keep employees safe as we continue to navigate proper workplace safety. And, as organizations settle into this new business environment, it’s important to figure out how to increase productivity in the workplace, CDC recommendations and all.
Below, we’ll take a closer look at how to maintain healthcare compliance within a hybrid work environment, plus why you should have a policy template that employees can reference for up-to-date information.
How to Maintain Healthcare Compliance in an Organization with a Hybrid Work Setting
Though many quarantine procedures and COVID protocols have been dissolved recently, there are still many questions about how these changes will affect working environments long-term. For organizations that have adopted, or are planning to adopt, the hybrid work model, the responsibility is on them to decide how they’re going to maintain healthcare compliance. These same organizations will also need to determine how to keep things running smoothly, regardless of how many employees are in the office at any given time.
So, it may be unsurprising to learn that having some people in the office and some people at home can cause unique problems in maintaining proper compliance. What’s the solution? Well, there are a few options, so let’s take a look.
Provide the Right Tools
As we’ve seen with employee health tracking software, the right tools can make all the difference. In terms of hybrid work productivity, that means investing in platforms for communication and workflow collaboration—and making sure those platforms are accessible and easy to use. These tools can also be used for compiling employee health records and enabling more efficient oversight of compliance data, which could lead to healthier workforces and an enhanced ability to address compliance-related issues sooner rather than later.
The more that employees are spread out, the more difficult it can become to collect data related to immunizations, screenings, and other compliance requirements. The solution: invest in tools that allow you to store data in one place and easily pull out actionable trends and reports. You’ll be able to identify small gaps in compliance before they turn into something bigger, and you’ll also have a much easier time pulling relevant reports if and when they’re needed.
Support Employee Self-Reporting
Whether they’re working on site or off, it’s always a good idea to arm employees with the tools they need to stay accountable. This includes self-reporting software that lets each individual staff member make updates to their personal screening and vaccine status reports. As a nice bonus, self-reporting also means reducing input errors by eliminating the need for manual reporting at the administrative level, which is a win-win when it comes to accurate compliance monitoring.
Importance of a Hybrid Workplace Policy Template
From guidelines for keeping each other safe to guidelines for returning to work, the most successful organizations are those that clearly dictate expectations to their teams. One great way to do that is with a workplace policy template, which can be maintained with real-time information on expectations around vaccines, safety measures, and daily productivity.
Make sure your template covers things like:
- On-site protective measures
- Work-from-home expectations
- General safety policies
- Patient interaction policies
- Data reporting and record-keeping
As organizations and hospitals continue to cope with the pandemic by allowing employees to work virtually and return to the office when comfortable, providing clear-cut guidance remains essential for maintaining safety and keeping everyone productive. Creating and updating a template of policies is a good step, as is following the hybrid work productivity tips above. Keep an eye on CDC guidelines too, and be ready to adapt if and when needed.