The DuPage County Health Department’s community-based testing location has been using TestDirectly since July 16 to efficiently collect, test, and report COVID-19 results.
Los Angeles, CA, August 11, 2020 - Simplified data entry, shorter wait times, and much faster turnaround times for test results. This is what the DuPage County Health Department has experienced at its COVID-19 testing location in Wheaton, Ill. since implementing TestDirectly in mid-July.
TestDirectly is a dynamic, web-based portal designed to connect patients, physicians, employers, and government agencies with collection centers and laboratories for fast, safe, and easy COVID-19 collection, testing, and reporting.
“It’s certainly gotten better as we’ve gone along,” said Christopher Hoff, Director of Community Health Resources for DuPage County. “It has enabled us to test and serve many more people on a daily basis and most importantly, get people their results quickly and easily.”
Hoff said patient pre-registration with TestDirectly has removed the issues they were having with handwritten paper forms and contactless communication at the drive-through location, and that follow-up is much easier now because patients can log in to the web portal to get their results generally a day after the sample is collected.
Before TestDirectly, the DuPage location was relying on several manual processes for collection. TestDirectly’s electronic workflow was first deployed on July 16.
“By going to an electronic workflow, we no longer need to manually enter data and that’s allowed us to eliminate 50 percent of the onsite data entry team,” said Kristen Lundeen, Community Initiatives Coordinator for Emergency Preparedness at the DuPage County Health Department. “This has allowed us to expand the number of staff collecting specimens and increase the number of samples collected every day. Those who were involved with quality control have now been repurposed to help out in other areas, and it’s allowed us to open up another drive-through lane.”
Testing is free and 400-600 samples are collected per day. Patients pre-register on a mobile device, and then check-in with a registration code that when entered, automatically prints specimen labels with the patient’s demographics and a unique barcode ID to ensure chain-of-custody and integrity of the specimen. From there, patients give themselves a nasal swab test with instructions from staff.
The samples are next packaged and routed to Reditus Laboratories in Pekin, Ill. for processing. With the TestDirectly electronic workflow, all that’s needed is for the specimen’s unique barcode ID to be scanned into the laboratory information system before it goes straight to processing. This removes a significant bottleneck of manual order entry that otherwise would cause delays in turnaround time. It also helps to boost the lab’s testing capacity while eliminating the risk of data entry errors.
The average turnaround time for the PCR test typically takes 4-6 hours once the specimen arrives at the laboratory. As soon as the result is finalized and verified from the testing instrument, a report is created and immediately delivered by TestDirectly from the LIS to the TestDirectly portal. Patients, physicians, facility administrators, and local Departments of Health officials are next notified in real-time that the results are ready to be reviewed on the portal. This allows agencies like the DuPage County Health Department to immediately follow-up with individuals who test positive to ensure the individual is isolated, that a case investigation is completed, and that contacts are notified to control the spread of the virus.
The successful launch in Wheaton has led to the decision to also deploy the TestDirectly platform at the Interstate Center testing location in Bloomington, Ill. in the coming days, according to Dr. Aaron Rossi, CEO at Reditus Laboratories.
TestDirectly can be deployed quickly and can interface with any laboratory information system to maximize efficiency and testing capacity while also providing secure communications with state and national registries. The easy-to-use portal manages the entire workflow from self-registration to drive-through or onsite collection, and from report delivery to follow-up.
TestDirectly is a scalable solution that was developed by LigoLab Information System and that’s delivering 30,000 results per day. The company recently partnered with Northwest Laboratory (NWL) and the Florida Department of Health (DOH) to conduct a baseline test of the state’s 4,000 long term care (LTC) facilities to screen residents and staff for COVID-19. Through this partnership, 150,000 tests were processed in just three weeks.
The TestDirectly footprint continues to grow as labs in Illinois, Colorado, North Carolina, New Jersey, California, Arizona, Florida, and Texas have recently come on board and added the portal to streamline their collecting, testing, and reporting workflows.
TestDirectly is available for collection centers and laboratories performing COVID-19 testing throughout the U.S., and for businesses that are adding safety and testing protocols for their employees to return to work safely and to stay safe over time.