St. Ann's Community to get rapid testing devices with goal of testing nursing staff for COVID-19
St. Ann’s Community is one of several skilled nursing and independent living facilities in the Greater Rochester area to receive rapid testing devices from the Centers for Medicaid Services (CMS) with the goal of rapid detection of COVID-19 in nursing home staff.
That includes St. Ann’s Community at The Greens, an independent living community in Le Roy.
Per guidance from New York State, staff must be tested a minimum of once per week in order to minimize virus exposure and spread to residents and other staff members.
The devices provided to St. Ann’s Community by CMS, known as the BD Veritor ™Plus System, can read a sample in approximately three seconds and give a COVID-19 positive or negative result. The process currently consists of a nasal swab which takes a sample from each nostril. The swab is then placed inside of a vial with a solution, and the vial deposits three drops onto a cartridge. The cartridge then rests for 15 minutes and is inserted into the device for a rapid result.
This rapid testing has made for a much easier and more efficient way of testing the nearly 1,200 staff members at St. Ann’s Community.
While the testing of staff may be more efficient with the devices, the difficultly comes with the data obtained from the rapid testing devices. New York State requires the data for all testing completed for each individual to be uploaded within three hours to the New York State Department of Health (NYS DOH) for results and lab tracking.
This data then needs to be electronically submitted and uploaded to the Electronic Clinical Laboratory Reporting System (ECLRS), which has caused more work and time dedicated to data analyzation and uploading of information for compliance purposes.
This is all done while ensuring St. Ann’s has the necessary staff, tools, and processes to carry out the testing and uploading of data. Fortunately, St. Ann’s has well-equipped information technology and medical teams who assist in these complicated and time-consuming matters.
“I believe we’re the first of the Alliance for Senior Care homes, and perhaps the first of any Rochester area skilled nursing facility to test, capture, and upload live data [not just test data] to New York State,” said Aaron Fields, chief information officer at St. Ann’s Community. “This means we’re no longer reliant on just one testing method, and we now have multiple options for COVID-19 testing.
"In our current ever-changing world, it has made our access to testing supplies better and our results and reporting times faster, especially when so many of these supplies are in high demand and there are frequently long wait times for results with other testing methods. We have a fantastic team in place which makes this that much easier. It’s really putting us ahead of the curve for point of care testing.”