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Navigating your Virtual Workplace: Expert Insights from Gilsbar

Tuesday, June 9, 2020  
Posted by: Dave Anderson
As HCAA Members navigate healthcare’s new normal, we interviewed a few experts on how they’ve overcome business challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic.
 
Today’s feature highlights Kim Randazzo, Senior Director of Client Services, Paul Johnson, Senior Director of Population Health Management, and Rachel Welch, Senior Manager Business Development from Gilsbar, where they discuss the challenges that come from this workplace transition.
 
How did you shift over to working virtually? How did it go?
 
Kim Randazzo – Fortunately for Gilsbar, most of our employees – if not all of them – were already prepared to work remotely and do so from time-to-time. There’s only about 1% of our entire employee population that cannot work remotely. Prior to the Louisiana Governor issuing a stay-at-home order, we proactively sent everyone home and we were able to convert to a remote working environment in just one business day. It was a seamless process for us as we were able to service all of our clients and members without any hiccups because everybody had all of the tools and resources they needed to work remotely in a completely paperless environment.
 
 Did you have challenges transitioning to the virtual workplace? What are some of the things that were difficult for you?
 
Kim Randazzo – The biggest challenge for us was that we did not use video conferencing very much prior to all of this happening, so we quickly learned that we needed to see our employees and clients. We researched different video technologies so we could quickly and effectively implement virtual conferencing while remaining in compliance with all relevant regulations.
 
Paul Johnson – We were used to doing conference calls, but we weren't used to using video in our remote meetings where everyone could interact with each other. We found that the more we communicated with employees through face-to-face Zoom meetings, the more therapeutic these calls became to give employees a sense of being connected.
 
 Have you seen issues that have been difficult for you and your community?
 
Kim Randazzo – The great thing about Gilsbar is that more than 10% of our employees are clinicians as a part of our health management group that works alongside the TPA. We were able to deploy work-from-home guidelines, not only for our own employees, but for our members, meaning those clinicians reached out to employees to regularly check in. We also jointly developed several webinars, such as coping with the COVID-19 environment and structured different wellness programs around the stress of homeschooling.
 
 Any tips or tricks for creating an ideal home office? Anything that you've that could help your employees out with working in this new environment?
 
Kim Randazzo – I think the best thing for us was to create a workspace where people are comfortable. We have a lot of employees, including Paul and me, who often move their work locations around during the day. For instance, we might take our laptops outside to get some fresh air or move them to the kitchen table to be closer to family. The key for us was to make work and life as comfortable as possible and to move around so that we don't feel like we're sitting in the same spot all day.

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