Workforce & Customers
Promoting Health and Engagement
Keeping staff, patients, and customers healthy and engaged is critical at this time. Healthcare practices and hospitals are feeling the effects in spades and while we’ve all heard it, the guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) bears repeating. Self-quarantine if you feel sick, wash your hands frequently, don’t touch your face, mouth, or rub your eyes, cough into your sleeve, practice social distancing. The full guidelines are available here.
In addition to the medical health guidance, healthcare businesses need to pay close attention to two other aspects of health for employees and customers:
- Mental health; and
- Accessibility issues.
Read on for what to consider today & tomorrow.
In addition to mitigating spread of the virus, businesses need to take measures to address the effects of COVID-19 on mental health. Spikes in depression, substance use, and other conditions are expected and will have an impact on quality of life, productivity, and existing chronic conditions.
It’s also important to protect employees, patients, and customers from accessibility issues arising from the COVID-19 situation. Patients still need care, employees still need guidance and support, and customers still need your products and services. Steps to take now to get ahead of downstream impacts include:
- Communicate effectively. Your company may be new to the remote workplace or you may need to engage patients and customers in new ways. Establishing effective communication plans and channels during this time will help ensure staff and consumers get needed information and support.
- Monitor employee and patient behavioral health. Understand that there will be an increase in mental health issues and be prepared to address them. For employees, have mental health counselors available and encourage healthy coping mechanisms like meditation and exercise. For patients, be prepared to conduct mental health screening as part of your regular interactions – virtual or in-person. The rise in mental health conditions and intensity will impact chronic conditions, affecting outcomes, utilization, and cost.
- Explore alternative staff, patient, and customer engagement approaches. Virtual is in and people need ways to connect remotely. Connect your staff with video meeting tools, engage patients via telehealth, and give customers more ways to reach you using online self-service tools, real-time chat, or virtual reality options.
Expect to continue managing pandemic effects among staff, patients, and customers long after it declines.
- Be prepared for ongoing spikes in behavioral health conditions including PTSD as we emerge from the pandemic. Track results of early behavioral health monitoring and ready your organization with a lineup of mental health resources to engage as we emerge from the pandemic.
- Communication needs will shift as the pandemic wanes. Business decisions resulting from the outbreak will need to be communicated thoughtfully and efficiently to a variety of affected audiences.
- Plan to implement best practices that emerge around staff, patient, and customer engagement.
How Canton & Company Can Help
Our team of experts is ready to help your organization assess its operational readiness amid COVID-19 and beyond. In addition to business continuity planning, we specialize in technology, process, and workforce assessments, recommendations, and solution implementation support.
Michael Consuelos, MD
Executive Medical Officer
Chief Marketing Officer
Principal, Human Capital and People Operations
Chief Technology Innovation Officer