As businesses prepare to reopen in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Cleveland Clinic is offering programs to help employers develop and implement plans to return their employees to work safely. Through its AtWork program, Cleveland Clinic is offering a range of COVID-19 response resources for employers of all sizes.
“Adapting to a ‘new normal’ is something we’re all facing together,” said Tomislav Mihaljevic, M.D., Cleveland Clinic CEO and President. “Over the past several months, our organization has been focused on understanding, containing and preparing for COVID-19. We want to share this knowledge with fellow employers and help our communities safely enter this next phase of COVID-19 response.”
As businesses begin to reopen in the wake of COVID-19, the safety of employees and customers is top of mind. Returning to the workplace presents challenges with changing environments, processes and behaviors.
To help employers through this adjustment, Cleveland Clinic is offering complementary resources. Its COVID-19 employer website, COVID-19: Creating a Safe Workplace, includes expert insight and resources for safely returning to work and resuming operations. The organization also hosts a weekly webinar series with topics that range from infection prevention to worker resiliency in the era of COVID-19. Recent webinars have focused on appropriate cleaning and disinfection; managing employee screening and symptoms; keeping employees and customers safe; and maintaining emotional well-being in the workplace.
“In the wake of COVID-19, employers are seeking guidance on how to safely return their employees to work” said James Merlino, M.D., Cleveland Clinic Chief Clinical Transformation Officer. “The COVID-19 AtWork program will create access to Cleveland Clinic expertise and care for employees working in a variety of industries. We understand each employer is unique, so we offer a range of programs to support them as they adapt to the new environment.”
Another option for employers is to turn to Cleveland Clinic’s industry-specific playbooks, which offer guidance based on currently available data and guidelines from the CDC. This tool addresses making sure a facility is fully clean, disinfected and equipped with a blueprint for maintaining safe conditions; setting up a support system for employees as they adjust to new realities and emotional challenges; and creating a plan for a safe work environment that protects employees and customers from risks connected to COVID-19. Playbooks for healthcare, hospitality, manufacturing, retail, restaurant and office/administrative industry employers are being developed and will be available for download for free from COVID-19: Creating a Safe Workplace.
Customizable, contract-based programs are also available. Employers may also arrange for onsite visits from Cleveland Clinic experts to assess employer capabilities and conditions and develop COVID-19 return-to-work and general occupational health support. Guidance may include physical space requirements, onsite testing support, managing COVID-19-positive employees and referring employees to healthcare. A Cleveland Clinic medical director can assist employers with employee health and safety procedures, emergency response, and event management. Specifically, the director can advise on translating clinical concepts, infection disease management and control, mental health optimization, and crisis and disaster management. A hotline is also available for employers to get quick, accessible advice and guidance on screening and precautions related to COVID-19.