COVID-19 employee monitoring program helps businesses reopen safely

To help America get back to work safely as restrictions begin to ease from the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, ChristianaCare has developed a new virtual telehealth service for businesses and employers that provides daily monitoring of employees for COVID-19 symptoms, testing, if needed, and care for employees who test positive.

The Employee COVID-19 Symptom Monitoring and Testing Program increases safety and eases anxiety in the workplace by monitoring employees’ health. It offers employees the convenience of access to a registered nurse to discuss their symptoms and the opportunity for a tele-visit with a provider.

The program relies on ChristianaCare’s COVID-19 Virtual Practice and its award-winning CareVio care management program for daily bi-directional, secure text messaging.

Sharon Anderson, MS, BSN, RN, CareVio president and ChristianaCare’s chief virtual health officer.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated ChristianaCare’s digital and virtual transformation in ways we could never have imagined, and today we are delivering highly coordinated care through telehealth and virtual visits,” said Sharon Anderson, MS, BSN, RN, FACHE, chief virtual health officer at ChristianaCare and president of CareVio.

“By using the Employee COVID-19 Symptom Monitoring and Testing Program, employers can take a proactive, responsible step to ensure the well-being of their workforce and be confident they are partnering with an experienced and trusted health care team that has successfully monitored patients remotely for many years through our CareVio care management program.”

Currently, 12 employers in Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Louisiana and Arizona are using the ChristianaCare Employee COVID-19 program. These companies range from construction and transportation firms to health care facilities and nursing homes. All told, the program is monitoring nearly 5,000 people.

“This partnership has been truly amazing,” said Brian Di Sabatino, chief executive officer of EDiS Company, a construction management company headquartered in Wilmington, Del.

Sarah Schenck, M.D., FACP

“We have approximately 80 employees who are managing hundreds of tradespeople over dozens of sites. The implications for shut-downs due to COVID-19 are massive. We sought out a partnership with ChristianaCare to control the one area of risk we could control — the decision to come to work healthy.

“By educating our employees and subcontractors about the symptoms of the virus, giving them a tool to securely review potential warning signs and a confidential relationship with a nursing staff, we think we are dramatically eliminating the potential for spread of the disease. Right now, all our employees are being enrolled, and we are rolling this program out to our subcontractor base.”

How the program works

Prior to the start of work each day, employees receive a text message in English or Spanish with a few screening questions related to coronavirus symptoms. If employees indicate they have no symptoms, they receive an “All Clear” text that it is safe to report to work. If they indicate they have developed symptoms, they will receive a message that they are “Not Cleared” and should not report to work. A registered nurse from the CareVio team will reach out for further evaluation.

Prior to the start of work each day, employees receive a text message with screening questions related to coronavirus symptoms. If employees indicate they have no symptoms, they receive an “All Clear” text that it is safe to report to work.

If the nurse identifies positive coronavirus symptoms, employees are urged to see a provider in ChristianaCare’s COVID-19 Virtual Practice through a tele-visit or visit their own primary care provider. If employees choose the COVID-19 Virtual Practice, they may be sent for a test. If the test is positive and they have symptoms of coronavirus, CareVio will monitor them several times each day to make sure they are improving. If symptoms progress, CareVio will arrange for another tele-visit with the COVID-19 Virtual Practice.

“Since the pandemic, the COVID-19 Virtual Practice and the CareVio team have provided invaluable support to patients, especially those who may not need hospitalization, but need monitoring at home to ensure they are managing their symptoms appropriately,” said Sarah Schenck, M.D., medical director of the COVID-19 Virtual Practice. “With the use of our video visit platform, we are able to deliver high-touch, high-tech care right from the convenience and safety of the patient’s home.”

The COVID-19 Virtual Practice began mid-March 2020 within ChristianaCare’s Center for Virtual Health. Through June 1, the practice has conducted more than 2,536 virtual visits with more than 2,070 patients.

Begun in 2012, CareVio is ChristianaCare’s population health management program that monitors chronic disease patients at home with the use of audio, video, secure texting and biometric devices. CareVio is responsible for the care management services of more than 110,000 lives through state and private contracts.

In 2017, the program earned the John M. Eisenberg Patient Safety and Quality Award, the nation’s preeminent recognition for quality and safety in health care. Since the start of the pandemic, CareVio has monitored 5,300 patients, with nearly 2,600 video visits and 308,000 follow-up text messages through June 1.

To find out more or to connect with the program, visit the Employee COVID-19 Symptom Monitoring and Testing Program website.