Balancing safety with privacy


Balancing safety with privacy

Culture & Talent view

A cloud-native solution for employee health monitoring and contact tracing

A blog post by Pankaj Sehgal, Cloud Native Leader, Deloitte Consulting LLP and Siddharth Mehrotra, Cloud Native Leader, Deloitte Consulting LLP.

Even as pandemic lockdowns ease in some places around the globe, most companies are still operating with a radically altered work model, with a mix of onsite and remote employees. Some workers choose to stay home, but many workers don’t have that choice—they are essential or hands-on workers whose jobs depend on their physical presence. The risk management hazards in this environment are great, and every organization is tasked with navigating a series of complex choices to address imperatives like worker health and safety, privacy, and regulatory and legal requirements.

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Leadership will need to develop comprehensive strategies, especially with regard to worker safety and contact tracing,  to address these imperatives holistically. These strategies should combine a human-centric approach with technology to ensure that their workers are safe and healthy and that their privacy is protected, no matter their job or location.

Balancing safety with privacy

Infection monitoring and worker safety initiatives (especially contact tracing) sometimes don’t sit well with employees who value their autonomy and privacy. Further, monitoring and tracing methods may run afoul of regulatory bodies that are deeply concerned about information privacy. Finally, scale may also be an issue, especially for companies with a global footprint and many employees.

The answer lies in an approach that promotes balancing safety with privacy; stays within regulatory guardrails; and is quick to design, implement, and scale. That approach is a cloud-native health monitoring solution.

Cloud native: It’s fast and scalable

Obviously, the first criterion for the success of a worker safety and contact tracing application is effectiveness. To be effective, the application needs to be intuitive and easy to use, it must provide management with critical health information while maintaining worker privacy, and it must be able to be quickly rolled out. It must also be scalable (up or down) as needs require. A cloud-native application fits that bill.

A digitally enabled, cloud-native health monitoring and contact tracing solution can help organizations meet information security requirements while giving them the flexibility to plan and execute situationally appropriate responses to outbreaks. Such a solution can also be deployed without being overly invasive or compromising worker privacy, and it can be tailored to the requirements and procedures of any regulatory environment and thus deployed across multiple geographies.

The solution can also leverage smart devices (wearables, phones, etc.) to enable more sophisticated monitoring and contact tracing so employers can quickly understand and mitigate issues, no matter the circumstances or location.

How it works

The solution places cutting-edge monitoring capacity, augmented by cloud-enabled digital capabilities, around a connected hub to help organizations monitor and support their employees while giving them the information they need to improve workplace safety and build better employee relationships. Key solution components include:

  • A connected hub. A modular, cloud-based, robust, flexible, and scalable platform that is integrated with organizations’ existing systems (e.g., HR, site security, and health and wellness).
  • Enhanced screening support. Integration with any screening procedures that organizations choose for their employees and their environment.
  • Digital contact awareness. Opt-in contact awareness capabilities deployed via a range of channels, including mobile, RFID, and wearables.
  • Advanced analytics. Analytics capabilities to enable employers to identify and track potential hotspots within the organization so they can enhance safety protocols.
  • Case management and employee engagement. Capabilities to help employers support and engage with their workforce.
  • Third-party integration. The platform can enhance and expand its reach by connecting with other hardware devices to enable extended contact tracing.

Bottom-line benefits

The benefits are clear: Employers and employees can work together to enhance worker safety, and companies can build the long-term resilience they need to survive other external shocks or crises. The solution is customizable to an organization’s unique circumstances. It’s efficient because it directs resources where they’re needed through automation and workflow integration.

The solution is founded on flexibility. It uses analytics to quickly enhance risk awareness and inform decisions. It can also be deployed when and where it’s needed, then spun down when it isn’t. Thus, it’s cost-effective as well.

But more importantly, the solution is human-centric. It empowers employees by giving them the information and tools they need to stay engaged and safe, and it can interface with wearable devices so that contact tracing and employee safety can be maintained, even in places where mobile phones are not allowed or when visitors come into the office.

A solution that goes beyond the pandemic

This digitally enabled, flexible, cloud-native solution is certainly applicable to the COVID-19 pandemic, but its capabilities extend beyond the current crisis. Once the pandemic has been controlled, the solution could be adapted to fit new needs. The capabilities behind it will enable companies to use it for non-health care–related applications such as digital badging, alerting, and employee communication. In essence, with this solution, organizations will have the foundation to build the resilience needed to weather this and future crises, and they’ll be able to make their employees’ work lives easier going forward.

For more information on this topic, please read our full article.

Please visit our cloud services webpage and discover a full suite of service offerings and capabilities available to accompany you throughout your Cloud journey.

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