What is a Contact Tracing Form?
A contact tracing form is a document used to track and record information about all the locations and people with which a COVID-positive person has been in contact. This form is also used to collect data from people that have been exposed to a COVID-positive patient to prevent further transmission of the virus.
The primary purpose of contact tracing is to slow down the transmission rate of COVID-19. Cooperation between the national health department and local government units is essential to accomplish slowing down the virus outbreak.
In this article, the following points are explained:
Collected Information in a Contact Tracing Form
Aside from personal information, four main areas need to be considered when collecting information recorded in the contact tracing form. The information below is referenced from the contract tracing guideline from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
1. Location and Demographics
The first key consideration when collecting information for the contact tracing form is location and demographics. The first collected information is the current address where the exposed person lives. Also, the exposed person will be asked for any other location they may have stayed and other people they live with or are in contact with.
In the contact tracing form, the work location of the exposed person will also be recorded. And mportant details will be asked, such as side jobs, travel routes, safety protocols in the workplace, and job descriptions.
The demographics in the contact tracing form refers to information like gender, ethnicity, and race. This may also include details like pregnancy and other relevant socio-demographic details such as marital status, family size, and economic status.
2. Health Information and Disease Comprehension
In the contact tracing form, health information mostly inquires about any underlying health conditions that may put the exposed person at risk. Examples of health conditions that put a person infected by COVID-19 at risk are chronic lung disease, asthma, heart conditions, obesity, and diabetes.
Another health information factor that’s considered is medications being taken and vices of an exposed individual that can cause complications. Vaping and smoking are some examples that can cause further complications.
The exposed individual will also need to be checked for symptoms and recorded on the contact tracing form. Aside from gauging whether an individual has COVID, this information will give an idea
Disease comprehension refers to how much the exposed person understands COVID-19 and what are their sources of information. This is crucial since there is plenty of misinformation on the internet. This will give a health inspector an idea on how to properly inform the exposed individual of how grave their situation is and what they should do.
3. Quarantine Recommendations and Resources
Depending on local conditions and requirements, tracer templates may also include recommendations on adequately assessing and conducting self-quarantine. This is essential, especially in countries or regions that have full hospitals due to COVID-19 cases.
Recommendations usually include how long should the quarantine duration be, how to limit interactions with others, how to set up preventive measures, and how to set up assistance for daily needs. Tracer templates may also include resources on reliable information about COVID-19.
4. Health Monitoring and Emergency Response
Depending on the national health protocols and local government policies, a contact tracing form may include filling out a daily health monitoring form to record possible symptoms of COVID-19 and a daily checklist to monitor the supply of alcohol, sanitizers, and face masks.
Tracer templates may also include filling out an emergency action plan form. An emergency response plan is a list of actions in different emergency cases.
For example, in a sudden case of severe breathing problems and intense chest pressure, think of the fastest ways to ask for help and reach the hospital as soon as possible. And then create a clear list of procedures. This list of procedures will help family members or close friends act quickly to save the life of an afflicted person.
Core Principles of Contact Tracing
When conducting a contact trace, health departments and inspectors are recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to think of the three core principles below.
1. Time is of the Essence
When slowing down the transmission of COVID-19 through contact tracing, time is the most crucial factor since it dictates how long an exposed person will be going around and getting in contact with others while not knowing they are possibly infected.
That is why health departments and inspectors need to immediately identify and interview people who are positive with COVID-19 and the people they are in contact with. This way, isolation and quarantine can be quickly done and contain further transmission of the virus.
2. Public Communication is Crucial
Since contact tracing involves engaging with the public, public leaders have a crucial role in making people accept the need to conduct contact tracing. To effectively do so, public leaders must emphasize that this tracing process will protect their loved ones. Another critical factor in getting the public’s cooperation is to make the people aware of all the procedures and address any of their concerns.
3. Confidentiality and Consent
All contact tracing procedures must be conducted in a way that a person involved has given full consent. And since contact tracing consists in collecting personal information that can be subject to exploitation or abuse, leaders and health departments need to put up policies, protocols, and guidelines to safeguard the collected data.
One recommended method to assure confidentiality and consent to all involved is to sign a confidentiality agreement or non-disclosure agreement (NDA). Non-disclosure agreements are legally binding contracts that protect information from being disclosed for public use. If violated, any person or entity will be subjected to any penalty clause in the confidentiality agreement and other applicable laws.
Strengthen contact tracing documentation with a digital tool
Contact tracing is one of the best protective measures to contain the spread of Covid-19. When these procedures are done with pen and paper, it can lead to some problems. There are mountains of paper that need to be sifted through, and data may be lost due to inefficient documentation. The transition to a digital process can help public health professionals and facility owners improve the efficiency of contact tracing and case investigations.
Lumiform, a powerful tool for inspections, audits, and assessments, is also suitable for use in digital forms of contact tracing. With the mobile app and desktop software, responsible parties can:
- Create contact tracing forms according to the requirements in place at your site and easily update them using the form builder.
- Use the forms easily via the app on a mobile device, whether online or offline.
- Improve the readability of key contact tracing data.
- Ensure privacy and confidentiality of large amounts of patient or visitor data by collecting it in the cloud.
- Provide traceability of data through reliable documentation and barrier-free access to data.
- Enable notifications in a variety of formats, such as email and SMS, to intended recipients.
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