Quality management (QHSE)

How to get to managing new COVID-19 incidents digitally in just half a day

Do you have a clear and controllable process for managing positive COVID-19 cases in your workplace? If not, then this article can help you to get it. It will help you to manage new cases more safely and with less impact on work.

As COVID-19 case numbers grow more and more managers face the question of how to handle new cases, while minimizing disruption. It is about acting fast. COVID-19 cases are therefore most often handled as ad-hocWhich can lead to poor documentation about what really happened. If something goes wrong and there is no sufficient documentation, then there is no trail to prove that each case was handled correctly. Furthermore, to be on the safe side many managers opt for sending home entire departments if someone catches the virus. This can be unnecessarily costly if only the infected person’s close contacts need to be sent home and tested. What if you could run a water-tight digital process each time that would leave an accurate trail of activities behind? You actually can. 

Within a few hours, you can have your own digital process up and running. This can help your organization to ensure that 

  • Everyone knows their role and what to do – in the right order.
  • Every case is treated in accordance with your process.
  • You have an automatic report for analyzing your effort.

New to incident management? Learn Why Every Company Needs an Incident Management System ↗️

Estimated time spent: 1-2 hour

Map your COVID-19 process

First, you need to map your process flow. Essentially a new COVID-19 case is ‘just’ another incident and similar in nature to a workplace accident or an IT security breach. This means that you can reuse your current incident management process.  

In short, incident management is about minimizing the immediate impact and then ensuring that it doesn’t happen again. 

An example from Gluu

Below you’ll see a typical incident management process that we can use for COVID-19 incidents also (this, by the way, is freely available as a template if you create a Gluu account.) 

If you want to know more about incident reporting read our article ‘How to set up incident reporting’. 

Estimated time spent: 2 hour

Add COVID-19 specific instructions and tasks to your process  

Next, you need to ensure that COVID-19 specific instructions are included: 

Next you may want to add some tasks that make your process flow measurable and tangible for the people that will be doing this. This way you can proceed through all the activities in your COVID-19 process and add the tasks that are important: 

Estimated time spent: 1 hour

Now create a COVID-19 incident case flow 

Once your process map is all done based on how you want to run it, you have instructions for each activity and tasks that will measure if the standard is followed, it is time to create a ‘case template.’ A case template is a variation of your incident process that can work specifically for COVID-19 cases. This way such incidents can have their own tasks and logic for when they will start.  

You do this by putting each activity in the right order, reordering tasks, and setting some as ‘Critical’. Critical tasks let you start other tasks only once these are done. This means that everything happens in the right order. 

In this example, I’ve created the following flow: 

Estimated time spent: 1 hour

Run your COVID-19 process

Now you’re ready to trial run your processIn our example, the management of a COVID-19 incident involves three roles: A regular employee (anybody in the organization, really), a manager, and possibly a specialist (if you have a Health & Safety manager, for instance). 

You need to add some colleagues to these roles to test it. 

Control each case

As people start new casesyou can track the status of each of the case: 

And if you need to report on the case you can quickly print a report with an exact status of each case: 

Managing changes and new guidelines

As you well know the guidelines that health authorities provide change often. So what do you do when you need to change your process? Then you simply go back to edit your flow, add new tasks and instruction, and inform your organization. This can be done in real-time and in minutes. 

Why not try for yourselves? Just create a free 14-day trial and use the included incident management template to create your own.


Tor Christensen

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