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How to Reduce Processing Times for COVID-19 Tests

By July 24, 2020March 13th, 2024No Comments
How to Reduce Processing Times for COVID-19 Tests

As states across the country step up COVID-19 testing efforts to effectively combat the further spread of the pandemic, most healthcare operators find themselves struggling to keep up with the increased demand. The number of tests conducted is expected to rise significantly as states follow Florida’s lead in setting up a system of regular testing for at-risk healthcare workers. 

The source of shortages ranges from problems with supply chains that result in crucially low supplies of testing equipment to backed-up processing of the paperwork accompanying the received specimens. The existing backlog can worsen as the active coronavirus cases in the U.S. surpass 4 million. 

As labs perform thousands of tests per day and simultaneously work to expand their testing capacities, it’s time to explore innovative strategies for achieving efficiency. 

One of the most tedious aspects of the entire COVID-19 testing cycle is processing the test requisition forms accompanying the at-home testing samples or swabs received from hospitals and testing centers. 

Processing COVID-19 test requisition forms is a time-consuming and labor-intensive task that needs to be executed with the utmost care and accuracy. Any inaccuracies while entering data or matching specimens can result in fatal errors and even accelerate the spread of the virus. 


How to Reduce Processing Times for COVID Tests

So, the question is:

How do diagnostic and testing laboratories ensure accuracy while increasing their testing capacity?

Partnering up with an experienced healthcare outsourcing partner for accelerating your COVID-19 test requisition form processing is a start. Outsourcing your test paperwork processing to a reliable partner with proven methodology reduces the cycle time between testing and results. This, in turn, helps clear your backlog and shorten your delivery times significantly to provide results in as little as 48 hours. 

Here’s how outsourcing services can help increase both accuracy and efficiency in your COVID-19 Test Processing

Increased Accuracy and Accountability

Increase accuracy and accountability in COVID-19 test requisition form processing.

When it comes to healthcare data processing, even a minimal error by a single point can have serious consequences.

The same holds true for COVID-19 testing, a simple mislabeling can result in a false diagnosis that creates an unnecessary alarm or denies an infected person timely treatment. 

At ARDEM, we implement greater accuracy and accountability in test form processing. As part of our test requisition management services, we extract, enter and code different data points from the submitted forms and transfer the high-quality final output into your system within 12 hours. We further employ a proprietary system of double-key data entry with a series of compare checks and validation checks that promise close to 100% accurate data.

Real-Time Processing

ARDEM processes COVID-19 test forms in real-time, within 1 hours.

Time is of the essence while processing COVID-19 test forms and that’s why we process and deliver your forms within 12 hours. Once the test requisition forms are received, they are immediately entered into our processing cycle.

You can send us scanned images of all your test forms in batches or simply take pictures from your mobile phone and forward them to us. Once the forms are received, our team immediately jumps into action and the documents are converted via OCR technology for data capture and extraction. We also process handwritten forms to decrypt vital information and digitize it for your convenience. 

Once the data has been extracted and standardized it is immediately transferred directly into your system to ensure that the requisite paperwork reaches the relevant laboratory or testing centers.

Furthermore, at ARDEM, processing of your test requisition forms does not stop as our teams work in three, round-the-clock shifts to deliver your data in real-time.

Automated Extraction + Effort-Based Processing

ARDEM employs automated extraction and effort-based processing to capture data from test requisition forms,

In order to build you a truly effective COVID-19 testing solution, we combine automated data extraction with effort-based processing to optimize data capture and processing from varied sources.

While data can be swiftly extracted from digital files using a combination of machine learning and artificial intelligence, handwritten forms present more of a challenge. Even OCR or optical character recognition cannot fully capture data to 100% accuracy. As a result, effort-based capture is required to ensure that relevant data including demographics, barcodes, facility information, etc., is extracted accurately. This tried-and-tested amalgamation of manual effort and advanced automation offers you a one-stop solution for all your test requisition form processing woes. 

Security and Scalability

ARDEM builds secure and scalable solutions for COVID-19 test requisition form processing.

ARDEM builds you flexible solutions to match your fluctuating needs. As your processing requirements expand, we scale operations by allocating more bots and trained FTEs to process the increased volume of incoming forms.

Additionally, test requisition forms contain several data forms including identity, finance and insurance credentials and therefore, need to be processed with extreme caution. 

At ARDEM, we ensure that HIPAA, PCI, PHI and PII compliances are met while entering, processing and sharing data for patient data security. Our security is built on an ISO27001 foundation and this addresses security at 3 main levels, i.e.,  physical, network, and employee.

Apart from our security compliances and protocols, we are also extremely careful about who we expose your data to. To ensure secure processing for our test requisition management services, we allow access to sensitive data on a strictly on a need-to-know basis. We have additional measures in place that ensure that your data cannot be moved, saved, edited, or seen by unauthorized team members. Trust us when we say that we can go on about security for days as we started 16 years ago as a U.S. Federal Government contractor. Get in touch with us and sign an NDA to learn more! 

Processing COVID-19 TRF Forms 

Molecular Testing

ARDEM processes forms for molecular testing.

As biotech companies, medical professionals and diagnostic/testing facilities race to create smarter and more effective testing solutions for COVID-19, the processes that support them need to be adaptable as well. 

In the case of COVID-19, molecular testing that processes samples as nasopharyngeal swabs or sputum samples that are likely to contain traces of genetic material that confirms the presence of the causative virus. Molecular testing is often backed by antigen testing that tests for specific proteins on the surface of the virus.

An antibody test ascertains the presence of the virus by checking for antibodies that are made by your immune system in response to a threat, such as a specific virus. 

However, as it can take several days for the antibodies to develop, they are not ideal for diagnosing active cases but can be effectively used to identify and study immune responses to the coronavirus. 

In terms of the paperwork, it’s crucial to identify data elements from the documents that accompany every test sample received. Data elements from the paper test requisition captured at the time of sample accessioning include information about the ordering physician, the medical record number, the registered patient ID for each sample, sample type (eg, blood, sputum swab, etc.), and the test(s) ordered among other details. 

All of the above information needs to be entered accurately, with cross-checks for sample and demographic data. ARDEM ensures that all these data elements are extracted correctly from the received forms and aggregated as different data points with identifying markers for cross-referencing.

This further helps eliminate problems such as duplicated ordering and ensures that the correct test is administered for the corresponding sample.  

Patient Demographic Data

Extracting patient demographics from test requisition forms.

Patient demographic data comprises all data points on healthcare and medical testing forms that contain information for the identification of the patient and their further categorization for statistical analysis. 

Patient Demographics usually comprise the following: 

  • Date of Birth
  • Gender 
  • Country, Postal Code, etc. 
  • Ethnicity
  • Blood type
  • Medical History, i.e., allergies, major diagnosis, family history, etc.
  • Family Doctor, Insurance Provider
  • Emergency contact information

All of this information has to be processed both quickly and accurately to deliver a correct diagnosis and curtail spread further. 

At ARDEM, we can help you manage all of your processing needs, just send us the scanned or even physical copies of all patient records and we will employ the best combination of people, process and advanced technology to deliver your data on time. 

Test Specimen Processing

Accelerate COVID test specimen processing with ARDEM.

A medical requisition form is a lab slip that is used to order the testing of a particular specimen or sample. 

As more and more suspected cases of coronavirus come in for analysis, testing all the incoming samples efficiently and effectively is of paramount importance. However, all efforts to achieve a streamlined process can be weighed down by a ton of corresponding paperwork. 

However, with ARDEM as your partner, you can optimize and streamline your test specimen processing. A COVID-19 test requisition form consists of extremely crucial data including a patient’s registration information, billing details, sample information, and sample label along with the details of the physician who ordered the testing. 

This is how it works: 

  • The moment labs receive their samples- they separate the sample from the accompanying data forms and send the sample for testing and analysis. The accompanying paperwork is sent to ARDEM.
  • ARDEM processes the received documents and delivers high-quality data. 
  • The sample forms are transmitted multiple times during the day and output data files are delivered at a defined frequency over the day- achieving the almost real-time back-office processing operation for samples. 

At ARDEM, we take pride in our ability to deliver customized solutions that are highly effective at solving our clients’ pain points while ensuring accuracy and improving delivery times for high performance. 

So, let us bear the burden of processing your accumulated paperwork and focus on doing what you do best, delivering accurate test results to save lives.

If you have any more questions about how we can help you accelerate COVID-19 TRF processing.

Let’s Get Started Today!

Increased Accuracy + Faster Processing