DuPage County, the second-most populous county in Illinois, was facing bottlenecks in its testing and reporting capacity, primarily due to its use of manual labor and error-prone hand-written documentation at collection sites. To address this, they introduced TestDirectly’s Direct-to-Consumer Portal. TestDirectly’s electronic workflow improved efficiency by employing online pre-visit patient registration, unique barcoding that links patient demographics with their specimen, and faster delivery of reports directly to patients, physicians, and public health officials. The portal also generated prevalence data, facilitating the track and trace of positive COVID-19 cases. As a result, not only did turnaround times improve dramatically, but collection centers were able to redeploy half of their staff previously assigned to data entry, thereby boosting capacity.
Back in April 2020, Reditus Laboratories (Pekin, Ill.) had already begun to work with the LigoLab Support Team to quickly configure the LigoLab LIS & RCM Operating Platform for COVID-19 testing. From there, it didn’t take long for the lab to establish itself as a statewide leader in terms of reliable and accurate testing.
From April through July 2020, the lab both processed and delivered over 400,000 COVID-19 test results, primarily working with several Illinois drive-through locations as well as with employers from across the country. Results were available to patients within 48 hours in the vast majority of the cases.
The DuPage County Health Department (Wheaton, Ill.) had two main objectives for its community-based COVID-19 collection center when it implemented the TestDirectly Direct-to-Consumer Portal (D2C) into its drive-through workflow at the DuPage County Complex on July 16. The goal was to serve more patients without sacrificing on how quickly the patients would receive their test results.
For about a month prior, DCHD had been relying on a collection workflow that involved a large amount of manual labor and difficult to read handwritten forms, and these forms were also creating an order entry bottleneck at Reditus Laboratories, the lab entrusted with the collected specimens. The documentation of patient information at the collection site was another bottleneck that limited the number of specimens that could be collected daily. The process was slow and prone to data entry errors as staffers and patients attempted to communicate with each other through protective masks and closed vehicle windows.
Soon after the implementation of TestDirectly, the barriers causing delays at both the collection site and at the laboratory started to crumble, as the handwritten paper forms were replaced by an efficient electronic workflow that allowed both the collection site and the laboratory to boost capacity and improve turnaround times. There was also an added bonus - shorter wait times for patients utilizing the collection site.
“With TestDirectly, we were able to test and serve many more people daily and most importantly, get people their results quickly and easily,” said Christopher Hoff, Director of Community Health Resources for DuPage County.
TestDirectly removed the issues DCHD was having with handwritten paper forms and contactless communication, and the electronic workflow made follow-up much easier because patients were now able to log in to the web portal to get their results generally a day after their samples were collected.
The electronic workflow eliminated 50 percent of the onsite data entry team and allowed DCHD to expand the number of staff members collecting specimens, which led to an increase in the number of samples collected each day. Those who were involved with quality control were repurposed to help out in other areas, and that allowed the collection site to open up another drive-through lane.
With TestDirectly, DCHD was able to boost the number of samples collected to a daily capacity of 600. The process started with patients pre-registering on a mobile device, and then they were checked in with a unique barcode that when entered, automatically printed specimen labels with patient demographics. This married the specimens to the patients’ orders, ensuring the chain-of-custody and integrity of the specimens. From there, patients gave themselves a nasal swab test with instructions from staff members.
The collected samples were next packaged and routed to Reditus Laboratories, where after a simple scan of the barcodes, the specimens were checked in and sent to processing with no delays.
“By switching to an electronic workflow, we were able to get results out quicker and that information into the hands of the patients quicker than before,” said Andrew Wells, IT Manager at Reditus Laboratories.
On average, the turnaround time for the laboratory to process the specimens was 4-to-6 hours. As soon as the results were finalized and verified from the testing instrument, reports were created and immediately delivered by TestDirectly from the lab’s LIS to the TestDirectly portal. From there, patients, physicians, facility administrators, and public health officials were all notified in real-time that the results were ready to be reviewed on the portal. The portal also provided real-time test results and prevalence, allowing public health officials to track and trace immediately after positive COVID-19 cases were identified.
“After the success at our DuPage County drive-through location, we went live with the largest drive-through location in Bloomington, Illinois,” said Dr. Aaron Rossi, CEO, Reditus Laboratories. “Additionally, we deployed this testing model into over 150 long term care facilities.”
Say Goodbye to Testing Bottlenecks With TestDirectly
TestDirectly is the latest addition to the LigoLab LIS & RCM Operating Platform, a flexible and comprehensive platform designed to unite, modernize, and transform labs into thriving businesses.
The TestDirectly portal can be deployed quickly and can interface with any laboratory information system (LIS) to maximize efficiency and testing capacity. It gives laboratories and collection sites a simple yet innovative tool that eliminates the bottlenecks and friction that cause delays and errors, and it positions them to scale up with COVID-19 collection, testing, and reporting workflows that produce fast and accurate test results.
To find out more, call (818) 395-4659 or visit solutions.testdirectly.com.