Experts’ Best Recommendations for Using Contact Tracing to Contain COVID-19
COVID-19 has roused the country regarding contact tracing, the process of providing support to those who may have been infected through close contact with a patient. This basic kind of work has been implemented by public health programs throughout the U.S. for decades, yet the scale that’s required for COVID-19 has led to barriers and concerns. As the world continues to navigate the viral outbreak, experts agree that contact tracing can help avoid another lockdown - and that the difficulties surrounding it are not insurmountable. Built on an open architecture platform Avaya can easily help you deploy Contact Tracing—either with the Avaya software you may already have in place, or as an over-the-top solution. Simplified and automated contact tracing across multiple digital channels, enables you to quickly track, monitor, and notify potential cases.
Avaya’s Contact Tracing Virtual Leadership June Forum brought together experts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the National Academy for State Health Policy (NASHP), United States of Care and more for the opportunity to learn about what’s working well, insights gained, and how we can best position for the future. The forum addressed the basics of contact tracing and what needs to go right to make it work at scale for containing the spread of infectious diseases like COVID-19.
Key topics include:
- Effectively using data and technology: Epidemiologists discuss the tradeoff between data collection and analysis and usage for containing the spread of infectious diseases like COVID-19. The CDC highlights digital tools that are proving essential for slowing the rate of infection, including proximity tracing and automatic exposure notification.
- Ramping up staffing: Experts estimate 30 contact tracers are needed for every 100,000 Americans for a total of 98,460 workers nationwide - far short of states’ current tracer workforces. Experts from the CDC outline staffing strategies that states and local health jurisdictions are currently exploring, and the potential long-term challenges.
- Public perception: Ensuring public trust is key to a safe reopening, and it will require greater public education to build the narrative around contact tracing and its effectiveness. The experts provide recommendations for creating a multi-faceted approach, from active community outreach to prioritizing interpersonal skills and cultural sensitivity for contact tracing positions.
- State approaches to COVID-19: With no federal coordinated response, it has been up to states to determine their best response strategy. Research analysts from NASHP present findings about different contact tracing strategies on a state-by-state basis including funding, divisions of power, tools and technologies, and more.
- Partnership for expanding patient support: Members of the CDC’s Health Systems and Worker Safety Task Force and Contact Tracing Program Support Team discuss four specific ways businesses can aid health departments in slowing the rate of infection - including tools on the CDC’s website for assessing contact tracing and monitoring strategies and outcomes.
Put Contact Tracing from Avaya to Work
Our goal is to help customers effectively track, monitor, and notify contacts of potential exposure, quickly determine possible infections and provide best actions, use automation to manage large volumes of contacts and reduce time-consuming manual processes, and make each conversation the best it can be with better risk management by using machine learning to deliver real-time prompts and suggestions to agents. We’ll continue to share learnings and best practices on how businesses are doing contract tracing right in upcoming blogs in the following weeks. Learn more about Contact Tracing from Avaya.