Color implements scaled COVID-19 testing program for Commonwealth of Massachusetts congregate care sites
As the COVID-19 pandemic spread, preventative testing has become crucial for residents of shared living environments to remain healthy and safe. Color, a leader in distributed health care and clinical testing, partnered with the Executive Office of Health and Human Services in Massachusetts – which oversees community providers that operate more than 2,600 congregate care sites – to provide testing for each care setting, giving frequent visibility into resident’s COVID-19 status.
Upgraded testing for a complex system
Color worked with EOHHS’s goals to update their testing program. Early in the pandemic, to meet the rapidly growing demand for testing, EOHHS quickly stood up testing across the state using any resource available. Their original solution consisted of a reimbursement program with turnaround times varying from 24 hours to 3 days for test results. As the pandemic continued, EOHHS sought to streamline and standardize testing from a patchwork of local solutions to one with common protocols and pricing. Color offered more consistent turnaround times and integrated reporting for all congregate care settings, which meant EOHHS could focus on the health of residents instead of the logistics around testing.
“The Color team made it feel as though the success of this program is a priority.”
A tiered, large-scale testing program
In January 2021, Color implemented a tiered onsite testing program: EOHHS provided overall guidance; community providers included information needed to set up their sites, and staff at individual sites participated in online training and received online resources for congregate care sites overseen by EOHHS. Color’s onsite tool enabled staff and residents to sign up once, with a site administrator distributing tests and confirming participant information. Color’s enrollment process captures detailed data, like the correct points of contact, address, and other information. The COVID-19 command center expressed that in such a complex testing environment, Color’s customized website, and consistent communication, have been essential.
Color delivers test results via text or email to participants and organizations. Results are then uploaded to the state database, making the overall testing process easier to track. Previously, each site worked with testing providers and spent time reporting their results, and then the results had to be validated.
Consolidation and adaptation for long-term success
Since partnering with Color, EOHHS sites altogether have administered 200K tests and average 1,800 tests per day. With Color’s dashboard, site staff can quickly track down any positive cases and take appropriate action. It also saves time for invoicing and reimbursements. Throughout the rollout of this program and the ongoing operations across 2,600 sites, Color continued to support the EOHHS Command Center. The team describes, “the Color team made it feel as though the success of this program is a priority, and Color has been willing to be adaptable and change approaches and tactics to address challenges as they come up.”