How Employers Can Support Employees as They Return to Work

Image Source: Sean Pollock

Return-to-Office Basics

As employees are returning to the office there are many adjustments needed to ensure a safe, sanitary and healthy work environment. Check out the following recommendations by the federal government to help keep your office safe and COVID-19 free:

  1. Develop and implement appropriate workplace safety policies regarding:
    • Social distancing and protective equipment
    • Temperature checks
    • Testing, isolating, and contact tracing
    • Sanitation
    • Use and disinfection of common and high-traffic areas
    • Business travel
      *Employers are encouraged to follow federal, state, and local regulations and guidance in developing these policies, informed as necessary by industry best practices.
  2. Monitor workforce for indicative symptoms.
    Employers are encouraged not to let symptomatic people physically return to work until cleared by a medical provider.
  3. Develop and implement policies and procedures for workforce contact tracing following a positive COVID-19 test in the workplace.
    Employers should continue to ask infected employees to identify all individuals who worked in close proximity (within six feet) for a prolonged period of time (10 minutes or more to 30 minutes or more depending upon particular circumstances, such as how close the employees worked and whether they shared tools or other items) with them during the 48-hour period before the onset of symptoms. Employers should send home all employees who worked closely with the infected employee to ensure the infection does not spread.1

How to Social Distance in the Office

Before employees return to the office it’s important to implement social distancing guidelines to ensure the workspace is safe and comfortable. By altering the office to adhere to social distancing guidelines you will decrease the chances of transmission to employees and customers. Below are new procedures your business can practice:

  • Implement flexible worksites (e.g., telework).
  • Implement flexible work hours (e.g., rotate or stagger shifts to limit the number of employees in the workplace at the same time).
  • Increase physical space between employees at the worksite by modifying the workspace.
  • Increase physical space between employees and customers (e.g., drive-through service, physical barriers such as partitions).
  • Use signs, tape marks, or other visual cues such as decals or colored tape on the floor, placed 6 feet apart, to indicate where to stand when physical barriers are not possible.
  • Implement flexible meeting and travel options (e.g., postpone non-essential meetings or events in accordance with state and local regulations and guidance).
  • Close or limit access to common areas where employees are likely to congregate and interact.
  • Prohibit handshaking.
  • Deliver services remotely (e.g., phone, video, or web).
  • Adjust your business practices to reduce close contact with customers — for example, by providing drive-through service, click-and-collect online shopping, shop-by-phone, curbside pickup, and delivery options, where feasible.
  • Move the electronic payment terminal/credit card reader farther away from the cashier, if possible, to increase the distance between the customer and the cashier.
  • Shift primary stocking activities to off-peak or after hours, when possible, to reduce contact with customers.

*If you have more than one business location, consider giving local managers the authority to take appropriate actions outlined in their COVID-19 response plans based on their local conditions.2

As always, the continuous practice of disinfecting, handwashing and sanitizing is very important to keeping the office a healthy and comfortable place for employers and employees. Getting back to the office can seem daunting but team encouragement will ensure the office and place you call home can stay virus free.  

Tria Health is providing additional communication and outreach to stress the importance of good health management and inform members that Tria’s pharmacists are a valuable and convenient resource during this current health crisis. Tria Health is committed to assisting members with any questions they may have about their medications, risk factors or ways they can mitigate their risk. 1.888.799.8742



Chronic Conditions and COVID-19: Going Beyond Handwashing

Webinar Information

Managing chronic conditions has always been critical in regards to improving employee health and reducing healthcare costs. With the emergence of the COVID-19 health crisis, it’s more important than ever as patients with chronic conditions have a higher risk of complications with COVID-19. With a multitude of telehealth resources available, discover how pharmacists can make a significant impact on patients with chronic conditions.

Jessica Lea, CEO, Pharm.D., EMBA, BCPP
Jason Grace, Director of Clinical Services, Pharm.D.
Austin Morgan, Pharm.D.
Date: April 23, 2020
Time: 11:00AM – 12:00PM CDT

Positivity During a Pandemic

It seems like every day we are inundated with COVID-19 information.  While important, it can be overwhelming and depressing.  For people with chronic conditions, it can be downright scary!  Managing chronic conditions is more important than ever. Tria Health’s pharmacists have been hard at work, providing care to patients with chronic conditions, helping them through these trying times. Here are some recent patient success stories.

Allergies or COVID-19? 

It can be difficult individuals to understand the differences between allergies, asthma or COVID-19 symptoms. Knowing how to distinguish the condition will help in expediting treatment. For help understanding the differences between symptoms, see this Respiratory Illness Chart.

Tria Triumph

A patient had allergies, high blood pressure, and was struggling with her asthma. She couldn’t afford her inhaler and was terrified to leave her house due to COVID-19. Tria Health assisted the patient with getting the medication cost reduced and coordinated with the patient’s doctor and pharmacy. Tria was able to get the medication sent directly to the patient, reducing her risk of exposure. Tria was there to answer all her questions and concerns and educate her on the difference between respiratory illnesses.

Social Distancing Reducing Visits

For some, going into the doctor’s office was the only way of receiving affordable medications through samples or trial packets. Due to COVID-19, some people haven’t been able to safely leave their homes or afford their medications.

Tria Triumph

A patient with heart failure could not afford one of their critical medications. He was going to the cardiologist office every 2-3 weeks to get samples. His Tria Health pharmacist was able to sign him up for a manufacturer coupon at an affordable copay. Tria Health also had the prescription sent to a pharmacy with a drive through pick up to allow for appropriate social distancing for this high-risk individual.

Getting Diagnosed with COVID-19

If you have a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis, it is important to take proper precautions to protect yourself and those around you. To learn the steps to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 if you are sick, click here.

Tria Triumph

A patient called the Tria Health Help Desk with questions and wanting information regarding their recent diagnosis of COVID-19. Tria helped educate the patient with quarantine recommendations, along with encouragement to keep a temperature log. If the patient started having breathing issues, they were instructed to go to the emergency room and to call ahead before going. Simply talking to a Tria Health pharmacist and having them provide a detailed overview of next steps helped put the patient at ease.

New Habits

While it’s important to continue your current treatment regimen to effectively control your conditions, now might be a great opportunity to instill some healthy habits.

Tria Triumph

During a smoking consult, a patient was struggling with anxiety and feeling completely out of control with the pandemic. She was not seeing any progress with quitting and was starting to feel down on herself. Tria’s pharmacist worked with the patient to refocus her efforts and make a list of things holding her back. During a follow up consult, the patient had cleaned out her smoking area, found new healthy habits, and started organizing her day. In addition, the patient is wearing a mask more often, which was also keeping her from smoking. Due to the support from the Tria Health pharmacist, the patient now has a happy place to enjoy the sunshine and her daughter.

Image Source: CDC



Virtual Teamwork

Image by Mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

Transitioning from an office to working from home can result in a multitude of changes for employees’ daily habits and mental health. Keeping employees healthy and supported promotes a productive and positive work environment. While you and your employees may not be in the office, you can still maintain your company’s culture virtually. Below you will find some options that can help boost productivity and work from home comfort.

Virtual Activities with Co-Workers

Resource: Zoom, Skype, Google Hangout, Teams

  1. Happy Hour
  2. Trivia Night: Charades, Heads up, Random Trivia Generator
  3. Weekly updates with team
  4. Team Building2 activities
  5. Yoga: 30-60 min.

Brain-Break Activities

  1. Yoga- Short Sessions, Quick Flow
  2. Taking a walk
  3. Get fresh air
  4. Meditation- Short Sessions
  5. Check the mail
  6. Organizing day/week/month
  7. Journal or color
  8. Stretch- Short Sessions

Staying Connected

Resources: Google Docs, Slack, Teams

  1. Photo sharing- Just because break room sharing isn’t an option anymore doesn’t mean all those photos of the dog, kids, new meals or beautiful landscaping can’t be shared. Create channels for those that want to share and keep up with others new social normal.
  2. Entertainment updates- Remember going into the office excited to chat about what happened during that new show or movie? Well try it a new virtual way- create a channel on the communication app your team uses to share your thoughts or even use one of the recommended breaks to catch up!
  3. Recommendations- With all this time at home people are beginning to discover new shows, podcasts, movies, and plenty of other activities you or your family could take advantage of. Create a channel or google doc for people to add suggestions and use as a resource when they need recommendations from trusted co-workers.

While the transition from the office to home may seem simple, establishing a routine to ensure effective health management is important. For those with chronic conditions, staying healthy now is more important than ever.

Have questions related to condition management or medications? Call the Tria Health Help Desk at 1.888.799.8742. Tria Health is a no cost benefit provided through select health plans.



Telecommuting Tips & Tricks

Image Source: Christopher Gower/Unsplash

Since the COVID-19 outbreak more people are working from home than ever and for many of us this is all new. It’s drastically different than going into the office but by using your resources and communication work will go on and you may end up being more productive than ever. Here are some tips and trick to improve productivity and encourage growth throughout this time:

  1. Create a designated workspace: Establishing a physical difference between work and home life will help keep you connected to each but not overlap one another.  If you are not able to have a designated office room it’s important to create the make-shift office somewhere you don’t spend a lot of personal time (i.e., living room, kitchen, bedroom), or else it can be hard to distinguish work time versus personal time. Although your work is in the home now, they are still contrasting elements that need to be treated as so in order to stay efficient. 
  2. Avoid being stuck in the same chair all day: Remember all those times you would get up from your desk to ask a question or grab something? Well since everything is virtual now it’s easy to get stuck behind that screen. Don’t forget you can take the dogs for a walk, check the mail, or take a call outside, just try your best not to get cabin fever. Creating a plan to get yourself moving throughout the day can boost productivity and allow for new routines.
  3. Overcommunicate with everyone: Working remotely is a new thing for most people so don’t feel like you’re asking a dumb question. Since verbal communication plays such a large role in the office atmosphere it’s hard to transition from popping your head over the cubicle or walking down the hall when asking a question to sending an email. It’s also important to note that most people will be working their normal hours so it can even easier to just give them a call or use Zoom.
  4. Create a routine for before, during, and after work: Accountability can be very hard during this time so creating a routine during the weekdays can prove to be effective, especially if you have others in the house with schedules. Although you are not going into the office it can be helpful to change into ‘work clothes,’ whether that’s a new pair of sweatpants, or an outfit that boosts your confidence it can help give the feeling of work and increase performance. With a routine it’s important to block off time to handle things that may be distracting to you and/or your work (i.e. kids and homework schedules, etc.). Get to know yourself during this time and how you work, don’t be afraid to recognize what distracts you and how to boost your own productivity.
  5. Take advantage of this time at home: This may be the only time you get to work from home so throw that load of laundry in at lunch. Eat lunch with your quarantine crew while you have the chance and don’t forget to wash your hands!

If you have a chronic condition, these changes may be having a larger impact on you and staying healthy now is more important than ever. While the transition from the office to home may seem simple, you need to establish a routine to ensure you’re effectively managing your health. If you have any questions related to your condition management or medications, call the Tria Health Help Desk at 1.888.799.8742. Tria Health is a no cost benefit provided through select health plans.