MAR 21, 2020
Coronavirus Impact: Teleworking Considerations
Many ophthalmic practice employee are learning to work remotely due to the coronavirus. Here is some guidance and resources for using a telework strategy to keep practice operations going.
- Is the position non-clinical?
Non-clinical employee positions, such as billing, coding and call center staff, are best suited for teleworking. Call center staff and techs can both work remotely to reschedule patients and discuss telemedicine options.
- Do they have the appropriate set-up?
Employees will need to have good internet access and a router (needed for VoIP phones).
- Will they be downloading patient information?
Remote employees will need either a practice-owned encrypted computer or use the practice's VPN if they are downloading any patient data. They can use a personal computer if they are only logging into practice management or EHR sites.
- Can you maintain a safe 6-foot distance between all your employees?
If your practice cannot ensure that employees are able to maintain the appropriate social distancing, you will need to reduce the number of onsite employees.
- Make communication a top priority to effectively identify a collaboration platform that is secure and works best for you. Examples of some tools: Microsoft Teams, Slack, Asana.
- Keep in daily contact but don't micromanage.
- Ensure that call forwarding is properly set up
- Make time for face time. Find a virtual meeting platform that works for you. Examples of some platforms: Zoom, Microsoft Teams, GoToMeeting.
- Build morale to strengthen the team.
- Emphasize work-life balance.
- Provide resources to quickly transition your non-clinical employees to remote work:
Health Care Industry Targeted in Cyberattacks
Hackers are taking advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic’s increased burden on the healthcare system.
- Remind employees that they need to be mindful of safeguarding patient health information (PHI) while working remotely.
- While working remotely, they should not leave PHI information or computers open and should never work from an unsecured WiFi location.
Use these resources to keep your practice’s security protected: