Times have changed and the way we do business will never be the same. The recent pandemic has highlighted health-related risks to organizations of all kinds. In any facility, contagious diseases can cause business interruptions, a loss of confidence and trust, or even life-threatening illness.

While these risks are not entirely new, previous business systems did not provide a way to manage and respond to health-related risks. There is currently a high awareness and urgency around implementing solutions to improve the response to these risks. One such solution is Health Risk Management, or HRM – a set of proactive routine actions that support health policies in order to reduce health risks among an organization’s staff, visitors and customers. It is clear now that even after the "re-opening" phase of the current pandemic, health risk management systems will be an essential, and likely a permanent, part of our future. If an organization does not have this type of solution in place, they are not complying with today’s health standards and could hold liability.

Here are five tips for choosing and implementing a new HRM system that will support the reopening guidelines in America, as well as ongoing needs:

  1. Make sure any new system will support your objectives. The very first step is to be clear on what are the CDC guidelines for employers. Guidelines during all phases of reopening include not only temperature checks, but also testing, isolating and contact tracing. Make sure that any HRM system you are considering includes the capability to support dealing with privileged information, follow up tasks including contact tracing and all the applicable policies in your HR system.
  2. Choose a new HRM system that is both modular and can make use of your existing capital investments in hardware and software. One potential extension of the HRM system to the organization’s infrastructure systems is with electronic security. Controlling access to the organization’s facilities based off a person’s health risk status is one example of an extension. This approach helps achieve safety and security goals and while reducing the overall cost and implementation risk to your organization.
  3. Avoid superficial integration in favor of deep integration. Some providers seem to believe that merely displaying the outputs of several systems on a common screen represents integration. Comprehensive integration uses collected data to reveal the beginning of health-related events that warrant attention and further investigation. The ability to quickly identify abnormalities and/or evolving incidents lets management take early action, before issues become large and costly.
  4. Carefully consider the impact on, and perceptions of, your users. Understanding the company culture, and tailoring your plan to that culture, will make the difference between improving the morale, pride and spirit of your team, or damaging it. Make sure your people feel comfortable returning to work.
  5. Select a good vendor. The best providers not only will work with you to deliver an excellent installation, but also to help ensure your choices will maintain the flexibility and scalability you will need to meet future needs. This value is difficult to overstate.

Organizations will need to manage health risks as they open up again and get back to work. The advantage of a HRM solution is that it extends its reach from just informing to providing specific information that can enable users to implement an effective Health Risk Management process while protecting the privacy and security of both the organization and its people.