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Automating workplace vaccination verification — a path out of the pandemic IBM Supply Chain and Blockchain Blog

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Workplace vaccination mandates are coming for employers. In the United States, The Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently released a rule on requiring all employers with 100 or more employees to ensure their workforce is fully vaccinated or require any workers who remain unvaccinated to produce a negative test result on at least a weekly basis before coming to work.

This rule impacts ~80 million workers — every company in the S&P 500 and most companies in the Russell 2000. By now, we all know that implementing a workplace vaccination policy requires balancing employee privacy with responsible return to work employer initiatives. Policy that makes sense, keeps things simple and addresses questions like:

  • What should I accept as proof of vaccination?
  • How do I know if it’s valid?
  • How do I make this process as simple as possible for my workforce and visitors?
  • How should I manage requests for medical and religious exemptions?
  • How do I keep up with changing requirements for booster shoots & the growing list of approved vaccines?

Transforming digital identity into trusted identity

Getting ready for the mandate

We have built a new verification solution (Workplace Credentials) to help employers quickly collect and validate vaccination credentials, process exceptions and religious/medical exemptions to support their unique return to workplace processes and privacy policies.

It automatically calculates a score of 0 to 100 for each submitted proof of vaccination based on employer specific policies and can operate stand alone or integrated with workplace applications like Workday, PeopleSoft, Work.com and ServiceNow. This solution is already in use by companies and government in the United States and Canada.

Verification solution in action

To explain how this works, I would like to give you an example.

verification solution diagram

Sarah, who is the HR manager and her team define the workplace policy for vaccinations (1) and configures the application rules to reflect government guidance and company policy (2). Michael, who is the employee of this company receives an email from his employer explaining the policy to return to the workplace and need to provide proof of vaccination (3).

Michael will then sign in with his workplace username and password and is directed to the application (4) and enters information about the vaccination he received and uploads his proof document which can include CDC card, record from the state Immunization Information Systems (IIS), digital SMART health card (5).

Once his credentials have been evaluated informing him that he is all set to return to the workplace he receives an email (6), and the HR and badging systems are updated to reflect his status (7). As the employer’s HR manager, Sarah receives regular progress updates as employees submit their proof of vaccination (8)

On the journey, together

Of course, no two companies are alike, and this kind of flexibility is needed in workplace vaccine verification policies so employers can specify what’s important to them in determining an overall score, which of course can vary in the places around the world that they operate in.

What I hear as well in our client discussions, is a need for speed and simplicity in deployment, not only for an employer’s responsible workplace practices and peace of mind, but also to achieve compliance in their ability to do business with their clients, especially government. Our implementation time for the above solution is approximately three weeks, so really another key reason I was energized to tell this story.

But there’s so much more to share — if you’d like to chat with our teams driving this work today to see if there might be a fit for your organization, we’re ready.

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