British Columbia has been a global leader in testing and developing public policy to address the COVID-19 crisis. The province was quick to start testing healthcare providers for the virus, knowing that they must self-isolate after they receive the test until they know the results.
The province was facing a challenge, though: while test results were available in six hours, there was a delay in the notification. A call would be made immediately to those who tested positive, but for people who tested negative it could be days of isolation without knowing their results. In the case of healthcare providers, this would mean that they were out of the workforce as they waited, reducing the capacity of the medical system at a time when it’s most needed.
The BC Center for Disease Control contacted Affinity Bridge seeking a solution for this bottleneck. In collaboration with them, we developed a way to insert a new tool into this system, allowing those processing the results to send a message directly to patients waiting for a response. If the test is positive, they continue to phone patients directly, but when it comes back negative, we send an SMS with a link to more information.
This means that for every positive case of the virus called right away, the hundreds of negative cases formerly left waiting—up to five days—are informed in a much more timely manner. This rapid response allows for improved efficiency in keeping care providers working, which is something that helps us all. We have sincere gratitude for the health workers and others who are working on the frontline during these turbulent times, and are happy to do whatever we can to anything that can make their jobs a little easier.