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Drive-Up Testing for COVID-19 Using Epic

Testing patients outside the hospital keeps providers and patients safer

As hospitals around the US prepare to test an increasing number of patients who might be carrying the coronavirus, the Epic community is thinking outside the box and outside the hospital to address unprecedented circumstances. Drive-up testing is part of many organizations’ plans, because it allows patients to be tested quickly while limiting contact with others.

While limits on the number of tests available have slowed some screening efforts, quick appointment creation and streamlined registration in Epic help make the testing process as efficient as possible. If your organization is interested in starting drive-up testing sites, you can use the following workflow from Epic’s Foundation System to quickly document screening for patients who don’t yet have an appointment or an ordered COVID-19 test:

  1. A front desk user schedules a walk-in appointment for rapid testing in a patient’s Epic chart.
  2. The user fills information about the patient, such as recent travel, address, and phone number.
  3. From the patient’s chart, a nurse quickly documents pre-testing information and patient instructions using a visit “express lane.”
  4. The nurse signs the documentation and goes out to the testing site to meet the patient.

After test results are available, you can contact the patient and develop a care plan. For many, that could mean isolating at home and keeping in touch with providers using telehealth visits and other remote options.
Several organizations, including Aspirus and BayHealth, are using this workflow today, and many more have plans to implement it soon.

For more information on using Epic to help clinicians combat COVID-19, Epic community members can refer to the Managing Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) With Epic white paper, which is updated regularly with recommended build and workflows.