Buying business contact tracing software? Read these five buyer’s tips first

17 May 2020 · Mike Steere

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If business contact tracing is something your organization needs to help manage the risk of Covid-19, we recommend you consider the following five points when you are deciding which road to take. 

This space is very new - two months ago contact tracing was a term you’d likely never heard -  so there are some important things you should be aware of about some of the companies touting themselves as “contact tracing” solutions. 

1. Visitor management and QR codes do not equal contact tracing

Creating a list of people who have been at a given worksite does not equate to contact tracing. You need more than that if you want to collect data about contacts (not simply presence) and to react efficiently to minimize the impact of a case on your workforce. Firstly you want data about actual probable contacts (not everyone on a given site) and secondly structured per person, so each worker has a customized contact table. This makes reacting effectively with speed possible. Combing a visitor list to try to work out first degree contacts will be difficult - trying to figure out second degree contacts? A nightmare. (One concession: For sites with high volumes of public interaction - eg. a cafe, then QR codes can be useful)

2. Don’t mess up privacy 

We’ve been working in the field of location-based safety with multinational businesses for over five years, so we know a lot about protecting worker privacy. If the contact tracing solution you are considering doesn’t have similar experience and isn’t meeting the gold-standard European GDPR regulations in how it protects data and privacy, you are putting your business at further risk. Importantly, stringent privacy measures will be fundamental for ensuring employee buy-in to any solution you implement. 

3. Ask how the contact data is structured

Following on from the first point, to be able to conduct contact traces quickly and effectively you need data that is structured to help you do the job. SaferMe gives you individual contact tables for each worker, including second and third degree contacts. So, if Sally gets sick - you pull up Sally’s contact table and get to work. No manual labour in working out who needs to be contacted.

4. Will the solution help you get ahead of the curve?

More than just contact tracing is needed for an effective and safe return to work programme. As well as protective gear, social distancing, shift swaps and hygiene measures you may conduct temperature checks. One effective way to help minimize the impact of Covid-19  is through a daily wellbeing check-in for workers. Getting immediate knowledge of someone experiencing symptoms before they come to work, and before they get a positive Covid-19 test, enables you to isolate them and any close contacts to prevent a small cluster of cases becoming a large one. This could be the difference between a partial or full shutdown for many businesses. So make sure your plan includes this measure so you can get ahead of the curve.

5. How well will the solution be used?

Ask any software project manager or user experience expert and they will tell you the same: getting people to use software is often the hardest part of any implementation. So, if your planned contact tracing solution is going to cause clunky disruption and extra processes or work then it risks not being used and thus failing to solve the problem you’re looking to address. The majority of contact data collected by SaferMe is done automatically - so your workers don’t need to have extra work that distracts them. We help manage an effective rollout to achieve a high saturation rate and then let the solution do its thing while your people do theirs.

If you want to find more about contact tracing for your business book a time with one of our team (we’ve teams in the US, Australia, New Zealand and Europe) and we’ll show you how to get started.

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