JUST PUBLISHED: Qualitative review of promising practices for testing vulnerable populations at off-site COVID-19 testing centers

Between March 20th and August 10th, 2020, the Network for Regional Healthcare Improvement (NRHI) and its member and research partners, Qualidigm, conducted qualitative research on off-site COVID-19 testing centers (OSCTCs) in more than twenty states across the country. Many NRHI members supported the work by serving as advisors and connecting the research team with OSCTC leaders in their communities.

Phase I (March-April 2020) was a rapid assessment of the then promising practices for off-site testing for COVID-19. A summary of the findings has been published in Healthcare: The Journal of Delivery Science and Innovation and the full report has been released. The major considerations were organized in an easy-to-follow infographic and disseminated broadly to support sites looking to establish or improve testing centers.

During Phase II (June – August 2020), the research focused on questions addressing access to testing among vulnerable populations, the alignment of OSCTCs with public health entities, community-based organizations, and other health systems to effectively address the testing needs, limitations, and opportunities across the population. After an extensive qualitative analysis, the findings were organized in a comprehensive Off-Site Testing Toolkit. Findings were also published in Healthcare: The Journal of Delivery Science and Innovation.

Ongoing Collaboration and Resource Sharing

To support ongoing collaboration and resource sharing, NRHI, with support from The Rockefeller Foundation, hosted a three-part Innovation Series to bring testing site leaders together to learn from one another and share successes and challenges.

Each session provided opportunity to hear from regional leaders and share tools and resources to support ongoing testing efforts.

November 17th

Choosing the right type of testing site & managing through changes in weather

During the first part of the Innovation Series, Ashley Johnson, Continuous Improvement Specialist at Providence St. Joseph Health, Alaska Region, and Brittney Hahn, BSW, CDCA, Early Intervention Program Coordinator at the UC College of Medicine in Cincinnati, OH shared how they are selecting testing sites and managing through changes in weather.

They shared innovative practices as well as ongoing challenges and received insight from other leaders across the country.

November 24th

Promoting a positive patient experience

During the second part of the Innovation series, Phillip D. Levy, MD, MPH, FACEP, FAHA, FACC Professor of Emergency Medicine and Assistant Vice President for Research at Wayne State University and Chief Innovation Officer at Wayne Health shared how they are engaging community members and providing screenings and services beyond COVID testing to meet the needs of community members and to provide a positive patient experience.

December 1st

Return to school and work – scaling rapid testing

As rapid tests become more readily available and schools and businesses explore options to open or remain open, there is much to be learned from sites that have been providing mass testing since the beginning of the pandemic. This session focused on applying lessons learned from recent testing efforts to develop a scalable mass-testing strategy. Additionally, we discussed evolving technologies and test types to support scale.

This event is co-sponsored by the Network for Regional Healthcare Improvement and The Rockefeller Foundation. The views expressed by the speakers and moderators do not necessarily reflect the views of the sponsors

Phase II

May 20th, 2020 – September 10th, 2020

Phase I

March 20th – April 20th, 2020

Qualitative review of early experiences of off-site COVID-19 testing centers and associated considerations

Abstract: Given the predicted need for continued SARS-CoV-2 diagnostic testing, as well as the evolving availability and types of diagnostic tests, off-site COVID-19 testing centers (OSCTC) leaders need timely guidance to ensure they are meeting the needs of their unique populations. This research discusses the challenges and offers considerations for healthcare organizations and others when setting up and running OSCTCs. It also provides a springboard to engage policy makers and leaders in the healthcare community in a discussion about emergency preparedness, and how to better respond to testing needs going forward.