Staff health and wellness app for COVID-19 delivered first to NHS
Robert takes us through InPhase’s rapid response to covid-19
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How are you doing?
When COVID-19 first hit, I wanted to make sure all of our customers, as well as our staff, were OK.
We setup a process to call all of our customers and asked them “how can we help” (many of our customers are key service providers; the NHS and health service providers, Local Authorities, Fire Services, Social Housing providers). They all said “we are really struggling with understanding what’s happening with our workforce. We are finding it difficult to manage key actions and who has to perform the high priority actions with so many people going off sick and self-isolating.” Mobile working clearly added to the complexity.
Capturing rapid and newly devolved decision making soon became an escalating concern too. What is the impact of all the decisions being taken, not just on the crisis but long-term business plan and finances? What will need to be unpicked later on. How do we most efficiently return to business as usual? Finding some clarity amid the chaos and protecting the long-term success and stability of the organisation still matters.
How can we help?
I spoke to the InPhase development team and we discussed everyone’s critical issues. They instantly knew that if our clients are going to get through this, each organisation needed to easily know the current COVID health status of their workforce, if staff are absent or working, or likely to be off sick and for what duration, in order to manage effective urgent staffing gaps, critical actions and action succession planning.
Pulling this information into easy to understand, real-time on-line reports that can be used by completely untrained managers to make more informed decisions around their business was critical.
I also spoke to a number of friends and colleagues who have been working in China.
I quickly realised that spreadsheets won’t cut it. We needed to offer a truly systematic, reliable, audited approach. The solution we can develop needs to deal with the crisis now, for the next 3 months and critically support the business coming out the other side. Long-term impacts need to be addressed.
Foreign businesses already coming out of their initial crisis are also escalating that understanding workforce immunity is a really important consideration. Organisations need to know how much of the workforce is now immune and that can enable them to plan better and understand where they can move the workforce around to keep the highest priority services running and deliver the high priority actions.
Ensuring there is a log of decisions that were taken, by whom, when, and any long-term impact of those decisions is also becoming increasingly critical. If you don’t know what decisions were taken, you don’t know what to unpick later on.
Culturally customers told us they were not sure the workforce are now ready to be home working, so I wanted to find a way to connect in with the teams to let them know our clients care, and they want to ensure everyone is safe and doing ok.
What’s the solution?
The InPhase team came up with the concept of the daily check-in. A process that each employee can undertake within 5 seconds, and importantly our customers can show that they care.
This feeds Manager’s action and decision management reports and dashboards. From this our clients can prioritise, and succession plan, and automatically distribute all the critical actions. Action updates are tracked and reported real-time. Decision taken by the teams are tracked.
Businesses and organisations will need to change rapidly and adapt to the current COVID-19 crisis, our new normal is self-isolating and social distancing which is against our very nature as human beings.
What have we seen since people started to use our new COVID-19 app? A more engaged workforce, better real-time reporting around who is working, how and where they are, which is enabling managers to get a better grip on making sure services can still be run. We have seen customers benefiting from centralising all crisis actions into the COVID-19 Response app, helping organisations start to move out of fire-fighting and into more structured action and decision management approach.
Key business benefits
The Key Business Benefits of using the new COVID-19 Crisis Response App fall into three categories.
1. Improved workforce management
The app massively improves the timeliness of knowing what is happening with your workforce moving you to real-time information. It makes it easy and simple for the management team to know where there are capacity issues in the workforce today and re-deploy team members where they are needed the most.
The trend and exposure risk information enables managers to foresee where capacity is most likely to fail in the next 7 days and act before the service fails. The immunity information enables a services to be strengthened with more resilience where it matters most.
2. Effective Action Planning and Responsiveness
The centralised database of your COVID-19 actions means you don’t duplicate effort, lose track of critical actions or miss a key issue because everyone thought ’someone else’ was doing it!
Instant escalation means managers can know in real-time when staff don’t know what to do and step in before it gets out of control and life-threatening disaster occurs.
Triggered action transfer means critical actions don’t stall for days when the number of staff going unable to work rises rapidly.
3. Up and running within 24hrs
As with the first NHS teams using the App, your teams that are busy with your important services do not need to build a new system for you, you can access it from anywhere as it resides in the Cloud so you don’t need complex IT set-up, when spare IT resource isn’t available.
The system has been pre-built on a robust and proven InPhase application and Microsoft technology platform so you can start making use of the solution when you need it most – right now.
Finally, what can I say about the InPhase team? I’m truly humbled. The developers that have worked tirelessly literally night and day with kids at home are more than Rockstars. The team has come together in ways I only ever imagined. They say it's times like this that real innovation and progress can happen. Yes, the InPhase team just proved it.
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About the Author
As our Chief Executive and Founder, Robert has been the visionary leading InPhase to be one of the UK's leading providers of business management, governance and assurance solutions, and helping organisations align their actions and goals more easily and efficiently with InPhase's suite of integrated apps.