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Exam Management Challenges in the New Normal

Short-staffed labs, longer wait times, and how to manage it all...

Exams were on hold for COVID…

During the pandemic, every employer who required pre-placement or periodic exams put them on hold. Playing catch up when clinics re-opened has been more challenging than anyone expected. Even now, completing exams quickly, efficiently, and in a single visit remains more difficult than before COVID.

Here’s a typical current scenario now:

John is two years past due for his HAZWOPER exam. Clinics are short-staffed, which means longer wait times for scheduled appointments. Instead of scheduling John’s exam for early next week, his appointment is two weeks from now. While John’s schedule is fairly set for the next few days, it’s anyone’s guess what his schedule is or where he'll be two weeks from now. He may need to reschedule his exam three or four times until the stars align and he’s available on the day of his appointment.

Since he hasn’t seen his personal physician in two years, he hasn't renewed his blood pressure medication, bought new glasses, or had an EKG - increasing the likelihood that he doesn’t meet the job requirements on the first visit. The clinic may not have an x-ray tech, a phlebotomist, or someone to do a pulmonary function test today - requiring a return visit to the clinic or a trip to a laboratory patient service center.

Pre-placement exams are equally challenging.

Increasing competition for candidates means the exam process needs to be done quickly and smoothly, because it’s the new hire’s introduction to your company. If a candidate isn’t screened and started quickly, they'll be working elsewhere.

What does all of this mean for employers?

Exam programs are more difficult to manage, more expensive, and require more robust information systems to facilitate timely communication with managers and employees. A successful exam program needs a broader toolkit of resources, including a larger clinic and lab network, efficient tracking and communication systems, and detailed follow-up.

ZHH can help.

At Zero Hour Health, our team provides concierge exam management services. We micromanage every single exam - from scheduling to reporting and payment. Everyone is kept informed each step of the way via our portal. Ultimately, our comprehensive exam management saves time and money while giving prospective employees, current employees, and managers a much more positive experience.

If you’re interested in learning more about how ZHH can help you manage exams, email Liz at lsweeney@zerohourhealth.com

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Disclaimer: This post is meant for general information and educational purposes only and does not constitute, and is not intended as, any form of medical, legal or regulatory advice or a recommendation or suggestion regarding the same.  No recipient of this information should act or refrain from acting on the basis of this information without first seeking legal advice from counsel in the relevant jurisdiction.