Between March 20th and August 10th, 2020, the Network for Regional Healthcare Improvement (NRHI) and research partners 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.


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

Many off-site COVID-19 testing centers (OSCTCs) are struggling with strategies to serve vulnerable populations who have some of the highest rates of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths. Inter-OSCTC sharing of successful protocols and systems has been hampered by evolving resource constraints, the changing science of testing, and ever increasing COVID-19 case counts. The aim of the present study was to identify promising approaches to testing vulnerable populations. Six main themes emerged highlighting approaches to testing within vulnerable populations including


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

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 aims 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.


Off-Site COVID-19 Testing Toolkit

Between June 8th and August 10, 2020, Network for Regional Healthcare Improvement and NRHI member and research partner, Qualidigm, conducted close to thirty interviews with leaders of off-site COVID-19 testing centers (OSCTCs) and public health departments across the United States to identify and disseminate current best practices for off-site testing.

After extensive qualitative analysis, we developed this Off-Site Testing Toolkit, which includes fourteen major considerations, each with 7-10 sub-themes.

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