How to Leverage Kronos for Healthcare Worker Contact Tracing



Many hospital systems utilize workforce management solutions primarily to track schedules and manage payroll. In the last few weeks, we have seen hospitals leverage Kronos in a number of ways in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, whether it’s providing access to new triage centers on the fly or creating new codes for additional time worked or taken off due to COVID.
One of the most innovative new use cases we have seen for Kronos, though, is contact tracing. If an employee tests positive for COVID-19, it is critical for the hospital to know who else in the facility that employee was in contact with. That way others in the same physical area with the affected employee can be notified, tested and quarantined if necessary.
Let’s take a closer look at how to leverage Kronos for contact tracing.   
Workforce Central vs. Dimensions
The starting point for contact tracing is a new, simple-to-add report that allows you to identify the affected “Index Person” within Kronos. After filling in some basic information, the report provides an export that shows which Team Members may have had contact with the Index Person during the specified time frame with the criteria you included.  (The report identifies the Index Person using a number, rather than name, for HIPAA compliance).
So, for example, if you know a nurse in your facility has tested positive for COVID-19, you can see based on punches and timestamps where the nurse has been throughout the hospital and identify all of the team members that were in the same areas at the same time.
This level of reporting is available with Kronos Workforce Central but is limited in granularity, only helping you identify who was  potentially  in contact with the nurse.
Kronos Workforce Dimensions  offers the benefit of more detailed tracing capabilities. Whereas Workforce Central might only tell you that a nurse was in labor and delivery on Wednesday morning, Workforce Dimensions can show you that the nurse was on the 4 th  floor, in the north wing, in rooms 418-424, and logging into work station 4N-7.
This gives you a much more targeted list of potential contacts you need to notify, while also helping you isolate which surfaces may be affected.
There is one additional upside to Kronos Workforce Dimensions. It enables proactive alerts to an employee’s phone, while Kronos Workforce Central is email- and report-driven. When you need to alert the people who were in contact with the nurse, you can get the information to them faster, so they can get tested and quarantined faster.
Automating Scheduling Challenges
The hospital now faces two scheduling challenges. First, the nurse who has tested positive must be removed from the schedule. Second, the employees who have been in contact with the nurse will need to be removed from the schedule if they show any symptoms of COVID-19.
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