You may think you know what contact tracing requires — until your company must perform it. By “must”, we mean someone at your place of work contacts or is sick with COVID-19. You need to inform everyone who was potentially exposed, both workers and visitors. Fast!
A spreadsheet or online form is not much better than paper for contact tracing, which requires a complex time-domain query. You need the right digital solution to protect workers at low cost.
Tracking Site Attendance by Paper is Expensive
At the onset of the pandemic, construction companies simply added paper health screening to their existing paper sign in forms. At the end of a shift, those forms went into a file drawer or the information was put into a spreadsheet or other online form. If and when contact tracing was necessary, the information was there. At least in theory.
Let’s think about this. If a construction project has 12 people using a paper and pen to check in daily and take a health screening, it could take an hour a day. Then, transferring the information from the forms into a spreadsheet could take 20 minutes each day. In one week, a company could easily spend 6.5 hours just on record keeping.
Now imagine that the team has been following this same process for a month. After 30 days, they will have spent almost 200 hours checking in, conducting health screenings, and filing the reports. They’ll also have 240 reports. Unless…
- They have additional subcontractors on a job site for a few days.
- The crew sizes expand and contract due to an accident or illness.
- Visitors such as owners, brokers, tenants or property managers come on site.
You can see how the paper pile will quickly grow. If an employee, subcontractor or site visitor contracts COVID-19, it will require combing through the files to figure out who was around whom and when. This can’t be done quickly or easily. Nor it is full-proof when you consider the potential for human error, illegible signatures, and lost paperwork.
The Need for Business Contact Tracing
Digital health e-screening and business contact tracing is fast, safe, and saves companies loads of time and money.
Most objections to contact tracing are resistance to using government provided apps that follow an individual around all day, both at work and at home and play. Many people think that’s none of the government’s business.
But collecting location data at work raises no such objection. Businesses have every right to collect and use data about their workforce, whether for improving productivity, HR practices, cost accounting or risk management. And workers and visitors have come to accept that businesses have that right, as long as the data is used appropriately and not shared outside the company.
The pandemic has therefore been an incentive for businesses to not only address the Covid-19 crisis, but to improve their business operations via the site awareness data.
If contact tracing is required, customers using advanced digital solutions can get a tracing analysis at the push of a button for either internal handling by HR, or for handing over to public health authorities under privacy safeguards. Digital health e-screening customers therefore protect their business, their workers and visitors, their privacy, and their communities at large.
E-screening and Business Contact Tracing Saves Money
If you are unlucky enough to have a positive case requiring contact tracing, consider these numbers comparing contract tracing using paper vs a digital solution. Spreadsheets and e-forms eliminate the need to type in paper-based data, but they aren’t much use for performing the time-based calculations required for contact tracing, which requires a fairly complex query over time.
If you choose a digital solution stored in a database, a business contact tracing report should be available at the push of a button:
|Business Contact Tracing task||Paper Time per Tracing (hr)||Paper $Cost per Tracing||Digital Time per tracing (hr)||Digital $Cost per tracing|
|Managers, HR notified||2||$200.00||0.1||$10.00|
|Pull/find sign in logs||2||$200.00||0||$0.00|
|Confirm forms correct and complete||4||$400.00||0||$0.00|
|Enter worker info into spreadsheets and emails||8||$800.00||1||$100.00|
|Create report for health authorities, insurance, HR, etc.||24||$2,400.00||1||$100.00|
Your savings are 14 times cheaper than paper per incident, and, most importantly, almost instantaneous.
David Brian Ward is the founder and & CEO of Safe Site Check In, a worksite awareness SaaS used to safely reopen job sites and offices during the pandemic and after. Mr. Ward has four decades of experience in technology management and entrepreneurship at organizations large and small, and has recently relocated to Portland Oregon.