One of our long-term partners, a state health department contacted ARDEM, requesting assistance with processing COVID-19 test requisition forms from multiple testing centers.
ARDEM had worked with the state health department previously as we were originally awarded a seven-year contract for the data entry from Flu Immunization Questionnaires and processing HIV data.
The original scope of work comprised document preparation, scanning, and data entry.
As part of the ongoing project, we processed nearly an estimated 300,000+ forms each year during the flu season. In 2014, the immunization project was re-awarded to ARDEM for another seven-year period. Since then, we have assisted the state department with data and document processing during different outbreaks such as H1N1 and COVID-19.
The Current Challenges of COVID-19 Testing
The state department reached out to ARDEM and asked us if we could assist them with processing test requisition data, medical claims, and immunization information from incoming COVID-19 forms received daily from multiple testing locations.
ARDEM immediately took cognizance of their needs and after evaluating the full scope of services required, we scaled our operations to match the department’s requirements.
Ever since then, we have been assisting the department to speed up their COVID-19 test requisition form processing by shortening the data delivery cycle and lowering processing costs. We are receiving around 2,000 forms a day, 7 days a week. Additionally, all these COVID forms are scanned and uploaded from different locations and need to sorted, indexed, and stored likewise.
Apart from needing assistance with the sheer volume of test forms coming on a daily basis, there were quite a few additional challenges that we needed to overcome:
- All test requisition forms are typically filled in by hand and correspondingly contain handwritten data that cannot be deciphered solely by OCR or automation technology.
- ARDEM came up with a solution to tackle this problem by implementing a dual-key data entry methodology.
- The data from the incoming test requisition forms is extracted using a combination of automated data capture and effort-based processing
- We have two data entry analysts who enter the same data.
- This data is then run through a programmatic check to compare the two sets of data. In case there is any variance, it is immediately flagged and a third analyst reviews the two datasets and compares it to the original image.
- Each field of data is audited field-by-field for accuracy. Our team even looks up any missing data from the client’s system, thereby eliminating any need for additional data entry from the client team.
Keeping reading to discover how we engineered a customized solution that matched the client’s data processing needs perfectly.
Engineering Solutions for COVID-19 Test Data Processing
Test Requisition Management
As the test requisition forms are coming in from multiple locations, the test requisition management solution for the partner health department needed to be formulated keeping the same in mind. All incoming forms are scanned and uploaded onto our online collaboration portal, the ARDEM Collaboration Platform, a cloud-based tool that enables our clients to share and upload data with a few simple clicks.
Coming back to the situation at hand, our solution was to create a specific bucket for every location, where all the COVID-19 test requisition forms are received location-wise. As soon as the forms come through, they are instantly ingested into our processing cycle.
Every COVID-19 TRF contains the following:
- Submitter Details
- Patient Information
- Requisition and Insurance Information
Following the protocol specified above, handwritten data is extracted and processed from test requisition forms in real-time for immediate results and entered directly into the client’s system.
Assured 100% Accuracy
The extracted data is verified and validated through a series of programmed steps in order to deliver close to 100% accurate data. This, in turn, enables the state department to deliver test results accurately to all patients at every location.
Security and Compliance
Security and industry compliances are at the forefront of every ARDEM contract and we take our client’s confidentiality very seriously.
As an ISO27001-certified data entry company, ARDEM has all the appropriate protocols and redundancies in place to secure our clients’ data. Additionally, HIPAA, PCI, PHI, and PII compliances are met while entering, processing, and sharing data for patient data security.
Tying COVID-19 Testing and Immunization Data Together
Apart from test requisition forms, COVID-19 vaccination forms can also be processed on the ARDEM Collaboration Platform in a similar manner.
The COVID-19 testing forms and the COVID-19 vaccination forms can further be tied together using the patient, making it easier to view and recall information. This, in turn, provides a faster onboarding process for processing COVID-19 vaccination forms faster and provides increased visibility into all patients and their medical history.
Processing Insurance Data
In addition to extracting patient and requisition data from every COVID-19 patient form, we also extract the insurance information for each tested patient.
The primary goal is to start checking and validating that the insurance for each tested patient is active through a health network. Different types of insurance (commercial, Medicare/Medicaid, etc.) have different processes to validate their policy and coverage date and we are working to implement such a system soon.
Apart from enabling the state health department to process COVID-19 test forms faster, we are also helping them create a heat map to track active cases and tested patients in the state.
ARDEM utilized the ARDEM Collaboration Manager along with our Immunization Platform to provide more visibility and faster delivery of data. A regional map is available which shows how many requisition forms and tests have been conducted for better tracking.
The ARDEM Advantage
- Tracking Test Forms: Once COVID-19 test forms have been received or scanned, the counts are recorded and an electronic copy of each form is visible through the file manager on the ARDEM Collaboration Platform.
- Live Status and Real-Time Updates: Using the exclusive workspace allocated to the department on ARDEM Collaboration, the client team can easily track which test forms have been received, which ones are in the queue, and finally, track the no. of forms that have been completed for delivery for each of their locations.
- Recall Testing Forms: Every COVID-19 testing form is automatically indexed by location to ensure instant image recall. Whenever required, patient data can be recalled using any of the following data fields; First/Last NameTesting Facility/Patient ID.
- Digital Collaboration: Both the client and ARDEM Teams can communicate on the platform via a series of communication features. Specific images can be flagged/commented on for further instruction and improvement or in case of any changes in the ongoing process.
- Hosting Images: All scanned copies or images of the incoming COVID-19 test requisition forms are hosted for a set period of time for the client’s convenience.
- Push-Button Reporting: The ARDEM Collaboration Platform offers additional efficiencies apart from the ability to stay connected and manage remote teams with greater efficiency. The platform further comes with dashboards for live and push-button reporting that allow the client team to track the no. of patients tested by date/ location/ week/ month/ quarter/ year. The team can further view and map metrics for each location to increase visibility at a macro-level.
As we continue to partner with the state health department, we are fully prepared to scale our operations to meet any fluctuations in the volume of incoming forms and further help them with executing an effective immunization program once a COVID vaccine is finally approved.
If you have any questions about how we can help you streamline your COVID-19 test requisition form processing while providing additional efficiencies, schedule a free consultation with our team today.