Nearly two years ago, the WHO declared Covid-19 a global pandemic, and since then, the situation continues to evolve both for individuals and businesses. Many processes created by enterprises at the beginning of the pandemic––measures that were done quickly out of necessity––are proving unfit to sustain these organizations in the long run.
However, as we settle into the new normal of Covid-19, prevention measures, medical tracking, and other safety protocols must all be remedied to last for the indefinite future. For example, if you’ve been tracking employee vaccination data in a spreadsheet, then it’s time to consider more advanced options.
While spreadsheets offered a helpful band-aid solution to tracking employee medical records, this method ultimately lacks security, leaves you liable to HIPAA violations, and grows more cumbersome to track by the day.
1. Lacking Security
Companies are responsible for keeping employee records confidential; however, medical data is arguably the most important. If your workplace is currently using a vaccination spreadsheet with employee medical data, it leaves the door open for unwanted parties to gain access to this information. A universally accessible spreadsheet is even more at risk for tampering.
With tensions related to vaccination status at a fever pitch, it’s crucial to keep vaccination records private. If this information were leaked your business could be liable to lawsuits from affected parties.
A dedicated vaccine tracking software is the better solution. Often they take security seriously and enable your business to easily track employees and keep the information confidential. ConfirmD, for example, locks down medical data with security methodologies compliant under CCPA privacy guidelines.
2. Risking HIPAA Violations
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), in part, aims to protect the confidentiality of individuals’ healthcare information. Failure to comply can result in civil and criminal penalties. While HIPAA does not prevent employers from inquiring about Covid-19 vaccination or testing status, employers should take caution with the way in which they store and access this information.
A simple spreadsheet with confidential medical information is liable to HIPAA violations. The ease with which one can share and access a cloud-based spreadsheet becomes an issue when you consider access. Failing to properly secure this information could not only result in a hefty fine, but it could also cause employees to lose trust in their employer.
3. Difficult to Manage
In order to keep employees safe, organizations of all sizes have implemented safety protocols that come into play when a team member tests positive. These measures are a crucial way to keep employees safe in the event of a potential outbreak, allowing teams to react to evolving situations quickly.
However, if you’re tracking Covid-19 information through a spreadsheet, you’ll have to manually update entries on a consistent and regular basis. Moreover, this method requires constant vigilance to detect when issues occur, leaving massive gaps for error.
For example, many workplaces require team members to either vaccinate or submit to regular testing. This means that your team must carefully track every person who elects the testing option. One missed test––and subsequent failure to note this––could lead to a Covid-19 spreading event in your workplace.
Some other issues with managing traditional spreadsheets include:
- Compliance: The first step of maintaining vaccine records is soliciting them from your entire workforce. Depending on the size of your organization, this could be quite a cumbersome undertaking that takes too much time.
- Reporting: Traditional spreadsheets lack the native features to quickly generate reports, creating major headaches for those who have to compile them manually.
- Accessibility: If only one or two people are in charge of your vaccination data, then this presents issues when these people are not present at work.
- Exceptions: Even if your company has a mandatory vaccine policy, there will still be a number of exceptions allowed for health history, religion, or other reasons. Mere spreadsheets won’t allow for the automation of these exemptions, meaning those who manage this data must sift through every individual.
While a vaccine tracking spreadsheet likely helped you out through the early days of Covid-19, it’s become clear that pandemic-related concerns are not going anywhere. Because of this, businesses of all sizes should consider a secure and automated solution to obtain, store, and track Covid-related data.
ConfirmD offers a turnkey enterprise Covid-19 solution that can quickly help you gather and monitor Covid data like vaccine and testing records. Through a secure and customizable enterprise dashboard, your designated team members can configure Covid records to display the info most relevant to your workplace policies.
On the employee side, ConfirmD provides an app, allowing them to upload their vaccine records and test results from third parties. ConfirmD also gives them a unique QR code, allowing them to display their vaccine status beyond the workplace.
By providing a solution that serves employers and employees alike, ConfirmD allows everyone to safely settle into our evolving new normal.