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The company helps supply businesses with testing, PPE and training on CDC guidelines
After two or three months of being shut down, businesses all around the United States are slowly starting to open up again as restrictions are eased. Of course most people would say that's a good thing, but it's easier said than done.
There are CDC guidelines that need to be followed, which can be confusing to someone not used to reading that type of medical language. Industries also need supplies, such as masks and gloves, to keep workers safe, and they need to know that are getting those items from places that are trustworthy. With all of that to think about, it's no wonder that, despite having the ability to reopen, many businesses are still too nervous to actually do it.
Enter FeverCapture, a company that launched on Monday to help small and medium-sized businesses have what they need to safely reopen their businesses, including PPE, training and even personnel who can administer COVID tests on-site.
The company was founded by Olunwa Ikpeazu, a medical director at a major health insurer, while she working from home during COVID, wondering what she could do to help.
"I was sitting at home, and my brain was going 1,000 miles an hour. I couldn't do anything, I couldn't get out, so I started thinking, 'This is a peculiar time, so what can I do? How can I help? What knowledge do I have?' I'm not in the hospital anymore treating people, but I’m in medical management, so I'm used to procedures and compliance and those kinds of things, so that lends itself naturally to me. That's what I do all day, looking at papers and looking at notes and things like that," she told me in an interview.
"I'm sitting here thinking to myself, 'How can I be of help? What do I know?' And I figured that not everybody knows these things. People were asking me about N95 masks, like, why it’s a big deal and why they are only for the health care providers and things like that. It’s like 'people don't know this stuff.'"
FeverCapture offers a variety of services for businesses to meet their particular needs; for example, a business could ask the company for training on what it needs to do to comply with the CDC so it can keep its employees safe. They might also want to take the temperature of their employees before they come into the building, in which case FeverCapture can not only supply them with the contactless thermometers needed to make that happen, it also supply the people who will actually perform those tests if necessary.
The hardware, testing and administrators come from partnerships that FeverCapture has with subcontractors. For example, it has a partner through which is supplies its customers. The company also does not employ any of the people who administer the tests; instead they come from staffing agencies that FeverCapture has partnered with. What the company does do, said Ikpeazu, is present SMBs with a hub where they can go to get access to all of these different services, all in one place, and know that what are getting is trustworthy.
"We've put a little training thing in place, based on CDC guidelines. We have manpower to actually do the checks for them. We have partners who have PPE, just in case they need masks, if they need gloves, if they need gowns. Somebody in a meatpacking planet, for example, might need all those things but somebody in a bank might just need a mask. So, depending on the company, on what their needs are, we have partners who can look and fill those orders for them," said Ikpeazu.
"We don't want to do too many things, we don't want to do all things to all people. But I also know personally that during the height of this, there were a lot of people who had bad experiences getting reliable suppliers or masks. I think even some government entities got duped. We've done the work for these people and we can say, 'We know the scope of supply that you need, this is the lead time and that they will get you what you need. So, you don't have to go on the internet searching for people you don't know. We are here and we're local.'"
FeverCapture specifically targets SMBs, rather than large corporations, and the reason for that, she explained, is that the smaller businesses are the ones who most need the help during this time because they don't have the same resources.
"The larger businesses have more access to more things, more technology. If you think of a gym, they're not like a Bank of America or they're not like Uber, it might just a business run by a guy and his wife and they have employees and they have people who come in and out. So, how do they make sense of all of this? When do they reopen? How do they reopen? How do they know they're doing the right thing? How much antiseptic, antibacterial and antiviral washing things, where do you keep it? How do they do that? They may or may not know," she said.
The other thing that FeverCapture supplies is training around CDC guidelines, and that is what sets it apart from other companies that are doing something similar in terms of sending people out to administer COVID testing, such as medical staffing companies.
"What differentiates us is we're going to send people out there who have the training to say, ‘This is what you need to do, this is what you need to implement,’ and those kinds of things, based on the guidelines that's put out by the CDC. We're just putting it all in one place. Like everything else, if you want to do it the hard way you can go on the internet and try to get what's important. It can be done, but just imagine if you’re not familiar with the terms that are used or even, it can be overwhelming, so that's where we come in," said Ikpeazu.
While one might wonder about the long-term applicability of a company like FeverCapture, given that COVID will, hopefully, be a thing of the past in the not too distant future, Ikpeazu believes that there will be still be a need for training and other services, even as the need evolves.
"COVID will live with us for a little bit. We don't like to think about it that way but I don't think it's going to go away tomorrow. Best case scenario, we're all hoping for a vaccine. So whenever that vaccine comes out, ‘Should I take it now? I have high blood pressure or diabetes, am I a good candidate? Is there a reaction? Is there a side effect?’ Those are the questions that will arise. ‘Should I offer it to my employees? Did they need it? Are they okay? He tested positive six months ago, he had a runny nose, he doesn't feel the need to take the vaccine. So, in the next year or two, we'll still be dealing with things related to this virus," she said.
"So, if it’s we moved away from taking temperature and tracking temperatures and all of that, and it becomes a vaccine related issue, we'll also have those answers for them."
Ultimately, the goal of FeverCapture is to help small and medium-sized businesses understand the guidelines they need to operate within, so that they have what they need to feel comfortable reopening.
"Success for us is letting people feel comfortable about these measures. If you remember back in mid-March, or whenever it is the quarantine started, it was like every week was a new guideline. There was a lot of confusion, a lot of craziness, and so we may have moved on individually, but business owners still have to answer questions," said Ikpeazu.
"Our post COVID-19 world is not the same as it was before. A lot of things have changed, that is just the truth. Our world has changed, so success for us to be making sure that these people have a good understanding of what they need to keep employees safe as they reopen."
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