As per WHO, close to 22,000 healthcare workers globally have been infected by COVID-19. The Nurse to Patient ratio in India is 1.7:1000. In addition to the healthcare workers, we have essential services – law and order, eCommerce, food delivery, volunteers, ASHA workers, etc. All of them are more susceptible to COVID-19, considering their exposure to patients.
Opening up the economy by selectively removing lockdown restrictions on specific industries like farming, logistics, construction, eCommerce, online food ordering, etc. only means that more people have the risk of exposure and, more importantly, cause the spread of the virus, unless aggressively detected and checked. Apart from the possibility of infection, frontline workers are also under a lot of psychological and physical stress. Unless proper identification of these symptoms and appropriate / timely interventions are carried out, this is just a time-bomb waiting to explode.
We believe a proper triage on a regular basis is a step in the right direction, in terms of understanding the physical as well as the mental health of the frontline workers. With proper analysis, reporting, and exception highlighting, we can equip the supervisors / department heads with the transparency required to ensure that the frontline workers are giving optimal service.
How do we intend to do this
We have built a set of questions (physical and psychological),based on standard COVID-19 symptoms, aimed at assisting the Triage process. The frontline worker (or an operator who can collect this data for each of the workers) will have to answer these questions. The intent is to collect such information diligently and consistently, twice a day (start and end of a shift).
The three steps involved in the process are
The information collected will comprise of:
- Basic Profile Information – Age, Gender, Nature of Work
- Health Conditions – Temperature, Sense of Smell, Breathlessness, Fatigue
- Questions pertaining to mental state, administered over a period of time
The workflow will start from setting up an organization, its departments, and the ability to add a frontline worker. The profile will be set up once (and it could be updated regularly if needed)
We recommend a protocol of collecting triage information from the staff twice a day – Start and End of a shift. Along with the standard health parameters, it is imperative to collect information regarding the Mental Health of the staff.
Outcomes will be monitored by the supervisor, and relevant actions will be taken – Recommend a Day Off, Reduce Shift Timings, Send for screening, Recommend a Counselling session.
Where are we right now?
The core platform with the capability to setup an organization, (optionally) kiosks and operators, along with the ability to enter frontline worker details and carry out triage, is ready and deployed.
All the questions that are administered to determine the Mental Health, and other information collected as a part of triage, are completely configurable.
We are looking at enhancing up the platform by providing the following additional features:
- Integration to any healthcare device – to collect vitals automatically
- Ability to configure and determine the ideal “call for action” recommendations based on the triage. A few examples of this could be a supervisor deciding to give a day off, changing the shift or providing counselling to the frontline worker
- Including a set of training videos, useful links and contact information that can be used by the frontline workers