Article of the day
January 6, 2021




Michael Kalinowski

TestDirectly Blog - How the Portal Communicates with the Laboratory

July 26, 2021
January 2021

Earlier this week we hosted a TestDirectly software demonstration with a large state department of health, and right off the top, four excellent questions were asked. Here are the questions and our responses. We hope this quick blog can help answer your initial questions, too.

For a more robust list of frequently asked questions, we invite you to check out this link: TestDirectly FAQs

How does TestDirectly talk to a laboratory’s LIS?

The TestDirectly platform looks and acts like any other EMR system to the laboratory. Think of a doctor’s office putting in an order for the laboratory. With TestDirectly, you can create electronic orders through the most common format in healthcare, HL7, and via SFTP or MLP. We also support RESTful web services and APIs.

“We’ve built our interface integration engine, and that enables us to connect with any format, any service, and any instrument or device,” said LigoLab CEO Suren Avunjian. “If it can be interfaced, our platform can connect to it.”

Is TestDirectly compliant with the reporting needs of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and all of its requirements?

Yes, it is. The patient creates a profile and enters demographic information like date of birth, race, and ethnicity, and this information remains in the profile in case there is a need to get tested multiple times. Additionally, TestDirectly makes it very easy for the laboratory provider to add several other “Ask at Order Entry (AOEs)” questions that meet specific state and federal requirements and that can help with public health track-and-trace programs. The order level AOEs are asked every time an order is placed and can capture and report symptoms and other track-and-trace relevant questions and answers.

At TesDirectly, we help with the initial configuration and then give the user full administrative control to add or change AOEs as needed. No programming expertise is required.  

“Any type of a data field can be quickly created and added,” said Avunjian. “TestDirectly sits on a very mature platform that allows for this level of configurability. The roots of the platform go back 15 years.”

How can TestDirectly help our laboratory connect with a local health department or clinic that’s submitting tests on behalf of patients?

With TestDirectly, there are three main ways to get the specimen from the patient to the lab. The first way is through patient self-registration, a workflow that many public health departments are using for their drive-through COVID-19 collection sites.

These same collection facilities can also generate new orders ad hoc, just like with an EMR system. This has proven to be very useful because some patients that need to get tested don’t have access to computers or email addresses to pre-register. In cases like these, the patients are added to the system on the fly.

The third option works well for testing where patient demographics are already available within an organization. An excellent example of this is the Department of Corrections workflow, where, a CSV file that includes everyone who needs to be tested is uploaded to the TestDirectly Portal. Next, the master list is divided into groups for batch order testing based on variables like patient type (employee or offender) and patient location (Penitentiary A or B). With this workflow, department heads with administrative access can create orders and view test results based on these variables.

Does TestDirectly support the delivery of the test results to the patient, the provider, and public health agencies?

Yes, TestDirectly frees the laboratory from any follow-up because patient reports are automatically delivered from the LIS to the TestDirectly portal, and the patient and provider are notified (via email and/or SMS) when the test results are ready to be viewed in the portal.

TestDirectly also supports providers with a special portal to track-and-trace patients that receive non-negative results. Additionally, public health officials are equipped with a portal that provides access to real-time test results and prevalence, allowing them to monitor and take immediate action when positive COVID-19 cases are identified.

“Laboratory testing data, in conjunction with case reports and other data, provide vital guidance for mitigation and control activities,” said Avunjian. “As the country begins to reopen its doors, access to clear and accurate data is essential to communities and leadership as they use data to make decisions for a phased reopening.

Avunijan also said that for individuals, access to personal test results improves feelings of safety, security, and awareness, and empowers them to take action, if necessary, to protect themselves, their families, and their communities.

Streamlined Collection, Testing, and Reporting With TestDirectly

TestDirectly is a web-based software solution that supports a network of testing sites and laboratories that are collecting, processing, and reporting 200,000 specimens daily. The portal works seamlessly with any laboratory information (LIS) and billing system (RCM) to replace paper requisitions and manual labor with a streamlined electronic workflow that boosts testing capacity and improves turnaround times while also reducing data entry errors.

TestDirectly covers the complete life-cycle of a case and a specimen, including patient self-registration and scheduling, specimen collection, laboratory processing, report delivery, billing operations, and track-and-trace programs. It also supports all specimen collection workflows, including drive-through, walk-up, long-term care, employer back-to-work, entertainment and production company, correctional facility, and school and university system testing.

To learn more, call 818-395-4659 or click on the calendar link to schedule a software demonstration - TestDirectly Demo.


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