COVID-19 Testing – Booking and Triage Solution
Following a trial at multiple sites, the COVID-19 Testing – Booking and Triage Solution (the solution) is now ready for deployment across the state. Developed by Clinical Excellence Queensland in partnership with eHealth, clinicians and consumers, the solution prioritises those most in need of a test based on their epidemiological and clinical criteria. It also matches consumers with their closest and most appropriate testing provider in Queensland based on their postcode, need, and clinic capacity.
The epidemiological criteria used in the solution is based on the Assessment for Suspected COVID-19 Guideline developed by the National COVID-19 Clinical Evidence Taskforce and will be updated as guidelines change and new information becomes available.
The easy-to-use solution complements existing testing clinic options such as the Virtual Fever Clinic. It is recommended the solution is used in conjunction with these options including ‘drop-in clinics’ to provide consumers with greater choice and flexibility in how they will have their swab taken.
As queues can be a deterrent to testing, the solution also has the potential to encourage uptake for people to get a test, and reduces the risk of illness, injury or transmission occurring as a result of the the need to queue.
How it works
Clinic operating hours and appointments are uploaded by clinic staff and made available to consumers online. To book an appointment, consumers must register and answer a series of questions covering:
- their demographic information
- their symptoms, the severity of each symptom, and date of onset if known
- employment sector details
- recent social engagements
- any recent travel.
Using this information, the solution calculates the consumer’s ‘risk rating’ and provides them with the most suitable testing clinic options based on that rating.
Consumers who attend a ‘drop-in clinic’ will be afforded the opportunity to use the booking system whilst in the queue and fast-track their appointment (if they are able to use it and the clinic has capacity). Should a consumer in the queue be triaged as high or medium priority, clinic staff are notified via the ‘Clinic Dashboard’ and provided with the person’s name and mobile number to expedite their test.
Testing providers can monitor clinic capacity via a live dashboard. This proactive approach to demand management means consumers will always be able to access a clinic.
Benefits for test providers
- The solution uses a whole-of-system perspective and is able to more equitably distribute testing demand across an area, thereby optimising clinic capacity.
- The solution is easy-to-use, can be deployed within hours, and does not create any additional workload. In fact, it makes running and working in a clinic much easier.
- Clinics can easily control their operating hours and available appointments – no more manual reporting or publishing.
- By improving the consumer experience of having a test, clinic staff can expect to work in a safer work environment.
- The solution allows for a better allocation of resources across the service.
- Clinic coordinators have greater visibility of clinic utilisation.
- Overall clinic workflows are improved.
Benefits for consumers
- The consumer experience of having a swab is improved as they are afforded clarity and reassurance as to when they will have their swab taken.
- Consumers are provided with timelier access to care.
- Consumers have greater choice in how they will have their swab taken.
- Greater convenience - consumers are provided with the next available appointment closest to where they are.
- Appointments can be made on a consumer’s behalf, for example by a parent, carer or a healthcare provider.
For more information on the implementation of the COVID-19 Testing – Booking and Triage Solution in your health service please email Dan.OHalloran@health.qld.gov.au. More information for consumers can be found on the Health Consumers Queensland website.