Sometimes you have to ask the tough questions. “Is my business ready for a second wave?”, “Are we fostering a comfortable and safe environment for staff and customers?”, or “Do we have the proper health and safety precautions in place?” The idea of a second wave of coronavirus is not one anyone likes to entertain especially when we are still fighting surging COVID-19 cases in Texas, California, Arizona, and Florida. However, it is important to be equipped with a strategic plan so your business can function uninterrupted in the coming months.
So why do health experts believe there could be a second wave of COVID-19 in the fall? Based on past pandemics and epidemics, specifically the 1918 flu and 2009 H1N1 flu, experts have seen trends of second wave behavior in these types of diseases. According to Lisa Maragakis, M.D., M.P.H., a specialist in infectious disease at Johns Hopkins Medicine, the rates of infections started with, “a mild wave of infections in the spring, followed by another surge of cases in the fall.” But here is the good news: these previous second waves are believed to have been caused entirely by human behavior. Bad news: human behavior. Joking aside, human behavior can become good news. If we change our behavior, we can combat this virus. Even Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, told CNN that it’s “not inevitable” that the US will have a second wave in the fall “if you approach it in the proper way.”
Numerous experts have weighed in sharing their plans and recommendations for achieving lead industry standards for health and safety. For example, the best action for restaurant and customer serviceindustries is to have a plan supported with data according to Patrick Hardy, a certified emergency manager, certified risk manager, and FEMA master of exercise practitioner. He advises business leaders to administer “…a short report that shows you what you need to improve upon this time. The next step is to identify solutions and change your policies. You need to make sure you are implementing these into your plans.” Implementation is crucial. You can put a plan in place, but it’s useless without execution.
For senior living facilities, Laura Hofmann, MSN, RN, director of clinical and nursing facility regulatory services for Leading Age Washington, made similar recommendations. Adding that the implementation of an “infection preventionist”, someone to ensure facility workers are following proper hygiene procedures and wearing personal protective equipment, is crucial to the safety and wellbeing of residents.
Even hotels are paving the way for safety with this tactic. Carl Campanile for the New York Post reports that New York City’s Office of Emergency Management is preparing for the second wave by appointing, ‘… an operator to run the “COVID-19 Hotels Program” in case there is a flare-up of the killer pandemic that crippled the city for months’. A response to aid in controlling outbreaks in hotels when the city “…provided healthcare workers and vulnerable residents –especially homeless individuals — a safe place to isolate.” It’s clear that implementing a plan and enforcing those guidelines can be a difficult undertaking for someone within their own business. Having an outside, unbiased perspective can truly benefit a business when it comes to adhering to health and safety standards.
A Closer Look’s Health and Hygiene Satisfaction Program is developed for this exact purpose. The Health and Hygiene Satisfaction Program is a fully comprehensive service designed to help businesses consistently measure the execution of their health and hygiene procedures across all locations as well as identify areas for improvement. In this program, businesses can expect discreet evaluations, monitoring and reporting, and customer surveys.
Discreet evaluations are quantified by a 15-point assessment based on health and hygiene recommendations set forth by trusted health organizations, federal and state government agencies in order to bring your business up to compliance standards. These evaluations are conducted by independent contractors. The information collected will be reported back directly to the business in order to be used solely for improvement purposes.
Monitoring and reporting help your team know where they stand resulting in efficient action when addressing issues. Each location receives a rating on our Health and Hygiene Maturity Risk Matrix. The rating is determined by the consistency of executing procedures recommended based on your discreet evaluation. Evaluations based on feedback and reporting are easily and quickly accessible meaning you have a time advantage to address issues with your team.
Customer feedback is an efficient and valuable way to create a direct health and hygiene dialogue between the customer and the business. Our Trusted Partner Program provides your customer with an easy and private way to initiate feedback about your health and hygiene practices. Using native text messaging, we provide a text enabled number for your customer to text their feedback directly to your business. Our proprietary back-end reporting gives you access to the feedback in near real time, making it easy for you to follow up on any issues in a timely manner.It’s clear that by analyzing current behavior, enacting a set of protocols, and ensuring that protocol is executed, your business is on the way to navigating the second wave with ease. Luckily, with the Health and Hygiene Satisfaction Program, the entire experience is streamlined taking the guessing work out of your health and safety.