Article of the day
March 30, 2021




Michael Kalinowski

TestDirectly: The All-in-One Software Solution for School Surveillance Testing

July 26, 2021
March 2021

As communities across the country attempt to reopen K-12 school districts and safely welcome back students, teachers, and staff members for in-person learning, there is a growing need for surveillance testing to slow the spread of COVID-19 and prevent outbreaks. 

For clinical laboratories interested in partnering with these school districts, TestDirectly offers an all-in-one software solution that supports the scheduling of testing events, test collection, automated patient notification, and patient result reporting.

TestDirectly is a patient engagement web portal that works with all laboratory software and simplifies COVID-19 workflows. The portal replaces paper forms with an electronic workflow that reduces data entry errors and the need for manual labor. It removes bottlenecks and opens up new revenue opportunities for laboratories by aligning them with organizations like school districts to satisfy their specific testing needs. 

“For schools to reopen safely, they will need a laboratory testing partner who can help them organize and manage their testing while also providing fast and accurate test results,” said LigoLab CEO Suren Avunjian. “Laboratories that can connect directly with the patient are uniquely positioned to play a leading role in any school district COVID-19 mitigation strategy.”

With TestDirectly, school districts can organize and create testing events based on location (School A, School B, etc.) and the patient type (Student, Teacher, Staff). School administrators can also monitor test orders and test results in real-time at either a high level for the entire district level, or on a more granular level based on a specific location, or on an individual student, teacher, or staff member. 

TestDirectly also supports the upload of patient demographics to the school’s administrative portal via a CSV file or an integration. Once the students, teachers, and staff members have all been uploaded into the system, an administrator can begin to create testing events based on variables like patient location and patient type. After setting up a testing event, the platform can prepare a batch testing event either by generating all of the specimen labels at once or automatically sending an email notification to each patient inviting them to create their TestDirectly accounts. For parents with young children, the system can tie the parent’s email address to the child’s account, giving the parent the ability to log in and view their child’s test results as they are available. 

The patient creates a TestDirectly account by signing in with the same email address associated with that patient on the CSV file. The patient is next directed through a series of customizable “ask on order entry questions” that enable the school district to capture any required reporting metrics as the test order is being placed. 

Upon order completion, an email is sent to the patient containing a unique barcode that will be used for check-in at the testing site, along with any other key details. This barcode can be pre-printed and taken to the test site, or the patient can display the barcode on his or her smartphone when checking in.

A separate portal is provided for the personnel involved in specimen collection. This portal is used for patient check-in and to send the orders to the laboratory electronically. 

If the school district has pre-barcoded specimen tubes, testing site personnel can simply scan the patient in by using the barcode from the email, and then scan the collection tube. This marries the order and the specimen together to ensure proper association and resulting from the laboratory. 

The system automatically sends results back to the portal, and when it does this, the patient is notified immediately via text or email. Additionally, the school district can monitor the progress of orders as they are processed at the laboratory, view the test results in the web portal when they are finalized, and do a CSV export of the test results. 

The CDC advises that surveillance testing for COVID-19 be a part of a comprehensive strategy that also includes the use of masks, social distancing, and the frequent washing of hands. The CDC also recommends that schools take further steps to maintain a healthy environment by improving ventilation, regularly cleaning and disinfecting classrooms, and making class sizes smaller. 

At LigoLab We Help Labs Grow and Thrive

TestDirectly is the latest addition to the LigoLab LIS & RCM Laboratory Operating Platform™, a platform that also includes agile and fully customizable modules for Anatomic Pathology (AP), Clinical Pathology (CP), Molecular Diagnostics (MDx), and Revenue Cycle Management (RCM), all on one fully integrated platform that supports the entire lifecycle of all cases, enabling laboratories to differentiate themselves in the marketplace, scale their operations, and become more profitable.

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