Nearly half of all workers say they are concerned about being exposed to the coronavirus at work, according to a Gallup poll of employees conducted in May. The Kaiser Family Foundation recently found that one in four workers is at high risk for serious complications from COVID-19 if infected. Not surprisingly, about 40% of companies identified workplace safety as a top priority in June, up from 27% in a survey conducted by Willis Towers Watson.
With this in mind, b.well Connected Health, the platform designed to provide consumers a new front end to healthcare, launched the b.well COVID-19 Return to Work Solution to help employers get their teams back together safely amid the pandemic.
The COVID-19 Return to Work Solution helps to transition workers safely back to shared work spaces with new functionality that manages risk, complies with government regulations, and reduces the burden on internal HR teams—all while addressing employees’ health needs and protecting their privacy.
Pentagon Federal Credit Union (PenFed), the nation’s second largest federal credit union, with more than 2,600 employees serving over 2 million members and over $26 billion in assets, launched the Return to Work Solution in the U.S., Puerto Rico, and Guam this August.
“We are essential workers helping members with their finances during the pandemic, and our financial center locations and offices have remained open as we were prepared to adapt quickly,” said Julia Moreno, Vice President of HR Operations for PenFed, which has been using the full b.well platform since early 2019. “b.well has been a truly great partner. They launched the Return to Work Solution for us in under a month. We’re using it not only to ensure the health and safety of our employees but also as the one place for people to go to easily access all of our COVID-related resources, related apps, and information.”
Another employer providing the Return to Work Solution is Thedacare, a seven-hospital health system serving a community of more than 600,000 residents across Northeast and Central Wisconsin. Thedacare introduced the full b.well platform, marketed as “Ripple,” to its more than 7,000 employees and the community at large in July. The health system announced the Return to Work Solution last month to its team members in an effort to safeguard frontline workers and ensure they check in daily on any coronavirus symptoms or exposure.
“Using the Ripple application for self-screening is a simple and convenient way for team members to check in, assess any symptoms and direct themselves to care if needed, all done quickly in one convenient place,” said Mark Cockley, MD, Chief Clinical Officer of Thedacare. “As a health care provider, it is critical we safeguard our team members and our patients against COVID-19. This tool creates more efficiency for our team to manage health and wellness in real-time while protecting the safety and health of our communities. With our partners at b.well, we are continually looking for new ways to predict and prevent illness, especially during the pandemic.”
How It Works
Employees access the b.well COVID-19 Return to Work Solution on their smartphones or a PC every morning before work. They complete a simple survey to assess their symptoms, exposure, and risk of infection, and then receive personalized recommendations based on their responses. These can include single-sign-on access to telehealth, in-person appointment scheduling, benefits information, mental health resources, and fact-based coronavirus updates and information including regulatory requirements for their state and directions to the nearest COVID-19 testing centers. The solution includes an administrative dashboard to help employers identify trends and provide insights to better manage the needs of their team members.
Using the b.well app, employees can also access all of their health information, connect their wearable devices, receive personalized health recommendations, access third-party apps, and invite family members to join their Health Tribe.
“We are excited to launch the Return to Work Solution to help workers keep themselves and their workplace safe,” said Kristen Valdes, CEO and Founder of b.well. “These are trying times and conditions are changing day by day and vary across locations. The instant configurability of the b.well platform helps by enabling employers to quickly adjust to solve issues like the speed to communicate, changing guidelines, added partners, and differing messages by location or individual. In this way, the COVID-19 Return to Work Solution relieves the privacy concerns, administrative and regulatory burden that the pandemic has placed on employers, while safeguarding employees and speeding the return to normalcy.”