Platform makes sure those coming to work do not have Covid-19 symptoms and ensures symptomatic employees do not return to work.

Healthy Roster was born in 2016 as an injury reporting and communication platform for athletic trainers in collegiate and high school settings. Now, the Dublin startup is working to help get students back to training and employees back to work safely with new Covid-19 screening tools. 

The role of the athletic trainer has grown and changed in the years since a new spotlight has shone on concussion injuries in young athletes. 

Most parents don’t realize their school’s athletic trainers are actually contract employees of large health care systems such as OhioHealth—until their child has an injury, says Healthy Roster’s co-founder and CEO Nathan Heerdt. That’s when the trainer swings into action and activates the health care network.

Healthy Roster provides that bridge, becoming the first app for trainers to share critical, on-the-field medical information with orthopedists. The app replaces what was often paperwork with live online secure chat, video and access to electronic health records. 

Four years after getting started, the company has grown to 20 employees, and its software is used by more than 3,000 health care providers, from Division I athletics to high schools around the country. 

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The company also has analytics in place around sports medicine and injuries, partnering with Indianapolis-based Datalys Center, the clearinghouse of injury information for the NCAA. 

In 2019, Healthy Roster began to branch out into occupational health, working with large manufacturers on workplace injuries. OhioHealth’s Employer Services, for example, uses Healthy Roster’s telehealth platform to conduct virtual visits. 

Heerdt says when the shutdown began to happen this spring, the Healthy Roster team immediately saw an opportunity to use the company’s SAFER platform to help. 

“Our SAFER survey platform has for years made it easy to send out surveys—we already have a depression screening survey within the platform,” Heerdt says. 

Now, SAFER makes it easy for employers to accomplish two critical tasks—making sure those coming to work do not have Covid-19 symptoms, and making sure symptomatic employees do not return to work. 

Employees are screened before they ever leave for work. “You can tell them automatically not to come in, go get testing at this location, and easily follow up,” Heerdt says. 

The app’s back-end reporting and analytics can provide information on hot spots within companies as well. For companies with hundreds of employees in far-flung locations, it’s an appealing fix to a brand new challenge.

Heerdt says the launch has been more of a sales challenge than a technological one. Previously, Healthy Roster interacted with companies through health care systems, but now, it's reaching out directly to the majority of employers who don’t have health care providers on-site. 

The company also is working with colleges all over the country including Temple University on back to campus and back to practice efforts for students. Heerdt says within a week of launch, the SAFER programs generated huge interest and that the company is launching four to eight new contracts per week. 

So in the end, what may have slammed to a halt for Healthy Roster could turn to a healthy 2020 growth spurt. 

Cynthia Bent Findlay is a freelance writer.