As You Confront the Omicron Surge, Dialog Health Is Here to Help
Just a few days ago, the United States reported nearly 2.5 million coronavirus cases in one week. This was the first time the number of cases in a week surpassed 2 million and well outpaced the previous record for a single week: 1.7 million cases from Jan. 3-9, 2021. One of the effects of this rapid rise in cases is that it's pushing businesses, many of which were already dealing with a staffing shortage before Omicron, to be even more short-staffed. Employees are calling out sick because of positive COVID tests, COVID exposure, other illnesses (e.g., flu), or needing to stay home to support family members.
During this difficult period, we want to remind our clients that we are here to help you deliver time-sensitive and ever-evolving communications to your employees and fast-track the setup of functionality that can better support your efforts to coordinate, engage, and support staff.
We also want to identify some of the ways clients are currently using the Dialog Health texting platform to communicate updates to employees, five of which are detailed below. If you are a Dialog Health user and want help setting up new alerts or if your organization isn't using text messaging but wants to add it to your employee communication capabilities, please reach out to your account representative or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, 877.666.1132, or by filling out the form here
1. Emergency/mass alerts
Our platform allows users to create and quickly send out mass text messages to staff. Uses include informing employees of changes to on-site safety protocols, a team member testing positive for COVID-19, and openings in or changes to the schedule.
2. Virtual connection via text messaging links
Our clients are making sure employees are receiving the necessary access to virtual meetings, video conferences, web chats, and more via links embedded in text messages. Text messages with links have a better open rate and engagement than emails with links.
3. Business continuity
Two-way text scheduling reminders are helping clients automate and send text messages based on their specific criteria, whether they need to reschedule staff shifts, modify opening and closing procedures, inform employees that they cannot enter the building, and communicate about other changes that affect operations. The system allows clients to send the right messages to the right group of people at the right time.
4. Health plan benefits
Our clients are using texting to provide staff with timely information and answers to frequently asked questions concerning their sponsored health insurance, which may have changed with the start of the new year. This can include matters such as where personnel and covered family members can go to receive a COVID-19 test and vaccine/booster, how tests and vaccines are covered, and the availability of mental health services (i.e., employee assistance programs).
5. Emotional support
One of the most important types of message clients are sending to staff during these difficult times are those that provide emotional and inspirational support. Texted words of encouragement and appreciation can lift a staff member's spirits and have a positive impact on an employee's mental health and outlook.
Spread the Word, Not the Virus
"Chaos Is Theme of New Year…" begins the title of a Bloomberg column. While there is optimism that Omicron does not have as much severity as the earlier versions of COVID and that the surge we are experiencing should pass somewhat quickly, there will be tremendous staffing uncertainty from day to day for some time.
It is essential that businesses have the means and processes to best ensure the timely messages they need to get to staff — and others — are distributed efficiently and effectively. If you need to get a message out fast, to a significant number of people and with a high degree of confidence that your audience will receive and read it, send that message as a text.