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Streamlining COVID-19 testing for major league sports

BioReference Laboratories (BRL) is a New Jersey based leader in sample collection and testing. When COVID-19 hit, BRL found itself on the frontline assisting with COVID-19 test collection and analysis. To manage the volume of bookings, BRL turned to the software firm Skedulo.

The two companies went to work on a tailored solution. The outcome led to BRL coming up with a schema that can deliver on-the-ground patient testing at 17 pop-up facilities. The facilities enable the company to screen up to 1,000 people each day. This type of pop-up option enables greater control within cities and it has begun to assist major sports leagues with their player testing, to assess for coronavirus symptoms..

BRL’s initial challenges were connected with the New York City sponsored an antibody survey program. Within this scheme, people can make an appointment to get a free blood test at a clinic. This led to BioReference’s need for an effective scheduling system that ensured social distancing guidelines would be followed.

The solution that was sought was high-capacity based scheduling. To achieve this BRL needed a software provider. Skedulo saw this as a way they could help to facilitate more streamlined coronavirus testing.

Skedulo’s software engineering team created a “high-capacity based scheduling” solution, helping both BRL and the end-customer. The software enables self-service patient access, automated reminders and the use of a unique QR code linked to the person’s booking details.

With the program, when a person arrives, the caregiver scans their QR code and moves the person quickly and contactlessly through the test-taking process. It also provides BioReference insight into demand to predict future volume and staffing needs.

Since the program’s launch BRL has successfully scheduled over 100,000 appointments and reduced the length of the testing process by around 50 percent.

As part of the next phase, and connected with the goal of easing coronavirus restrictions, BioReference has begun to use Skedulo to assist the MLS, NBA and NFL with their player testing. As a further extension, the Mass Transit Authority (MTA) in New York has started to used BRL to help get the city moving again.

Written By

Dr. Tim Sandle is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for science news. Tim specializes in science, technology, environmental, and health journalism. He is additionally a practising microbiologist; and an author. He is also interested in history, politics and current affairs.

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