By Gustav Anderson
Nov. 24, 2021
During the peak of the pandemic in 2020, Emily Baron recognized she had a personal responsibility to serve the public.
“[the pandemic] is probably the largest and greatest public health crisis in our generation,” says Baron. “So as a public health professional, I have always felt this call to duty.”
As the Chief Public Health Officer for COVIDCheck Colorado, Baron answered this call to duty in a major way. Under her guidance, she ensured the emergency testing and vaccination program cooperated and interfaced properly with public health officials and the community at large across Colorado.
Central to Baron’s mission with COVIDCheck Colorado was to oversee medical compliance and safety matters at every site, and in turn, create the best possible outcomes for any and all patients.
“I feel an enormous amount of responsibility for us to deliver a really high-quality service that makes people feel good and provides access to those that wouldn’t traditionally have it,” reflects Baron.
Before the onset of the pandemic, mass vaccination sites were quite rare. As such, Baron found herself in uncharted territory regarding how to properly oversee the execution of compliant medical practice throughout her workforce. “At a vaccine site, the level of compliance is very high … there’s a lot of protocols and a lot of procedures,” says Baron.
As COVIDCheck Colorado continued to add employees and open new sites, managing compliance only became more difficult, leading to operational inefficiency in the face of extremely high demand.
All of Baron’s vaccination sites needed proper supervision from licensed medical professionals. Moreover, she needed to make sure every scheduled employee was qualified for their role to ensure outstanding patient outcomes.
“There are certain credentials required for certain roles on a vaccine site, for preparing doses, for observing in the observation area, for vaccinating, for being a clinical lead,” says Baron.
It was Baron’s responsibility to make sure these certification records were present and easily accessible for all partners and stakeholders involved in supporting COVIDCheck Colorado.
“We’re beholden to the State of Colorado and our provider partners … to run a site that’s compliant with all CDC and CDPH regulations,” Baron states.
Baron and COVIDCheck Colorado made solving workforce management their priority; this eventually led them to their partnership with Workforce.com.
“Without Workforce.com, we wouldn’t have been able to run our vaccine sites,” says Baron. “It’s been immensely informative for our decision making on the ground. And I’m not sure we would have been able to provide as many vaccines as we did without it.”
The platform actively tracks all employee certifications and automatically accounts for them during the scheduling process; this empowered COVIDCheck’s frontline heroes to act quickly and confidently to ensure the best possible patient outcomes even in the face of a national crisis. With these capabilities, Baron ensures COVIDCheck remains compliant with medical requirements while scaling rapidly across Colorado.
With COVIDCheck Colorado, Baron successfully organized 3,400 staff in the successful administration of over 800,000 tests and 300,000 vaccines. Her efforts to keep all 55 sites compliant with CDC guidelines and up-to-date on medical certifications resulted in the equitable and efficient deliverance of care to communities across Colorado. Here are some of the ways Workforce.com helped her in this mission:
With access to a live platform displaying attendance, labor costs, certifications, and demand, Baron could easily address staffing issues occurring at individual locations.
“We were able to track exactly who’s showing up in the clinic each day, what sort of credentials and skills they have, what role they played onsite, and how many days per week they could come in.”
Baron could then use these analytics to understand what schedule iterations were the most effective, helping her schedule smarter and more confidently.
Baron used Workforce.com’s qualifications feature to keep track of employee certifications and training. These qualifications were then automatically accounted for in the scheduling process, with Baron receiving alerts whenever an unqualified employee was scheduled for a shift that required proper certification.
“We’re able to put badges on folks. In any given person’s profile, they get a badge for completing training and for having an RN degree or having a basic lifesaving degree … Workforce.com has helped us be able to track that, not just individually on vaccine sites, but across all of our vaccine sites.”
Utilizing in-depth reporting features, Baron could look at granular staffing level analytics and easily export the information whenever necessary for review.
“The analytic capabilities are really important for us in terms of our reporting to our provider partners, who are again required to report to the State of Colorado,” says Baron.
With an increase in workforce efficiency and safety came an improvement in patient outcomes. After running multiple surveys with patients, COVIDCheck Colorado’s Net Promoter Scores consistently fell within the 90s.
Under Baron’s guidance, COVIDCheck Colorado integrated safe and compliant medical practice across their entire operation – solving workforce management was a critical part to achieving this success. And according to Baron, the future of workforce management and health care is bright.
“Health disparities are really at the forefront of community health care right now. How do you reach people? How do you give them healthcare access? I think that workforce management is going to be a big deal post-pandemic.”
Of course, providing the best possible emergency care to those in need takes more than just workforce management. At the end of the day, it really comes down to the efforts of passionate and driven heroes.
“I mean, we were a bizarre crew of people from all different backgrounds and disciplines and worlds,” reflects Baron. “But in the service of one collective mission, we were able to do something that I hope a lot of other people can learn from and feel inspired by.”
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