The first part of our article was about how the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the digitalization of the healthcare system and how digital solutions are more in demand than ever. One of these digital solutions is video telephony consultations. In the second part, we will now dwell on COVID tests and how the test process can be prompted and simplified due to digital solutions.
The federal government's current COVID-19 testing strategy says that anyone with symptoms should be tested1. Accordingly, this leads to a great deal of effort for all healthcare providers involved in the test process. The effort starts with the countless appointments for the tests. With up to 5 COVID tests per minute, it is no longer administratively possible to make appointments by telephone. Online appointment services such as Medicosearch can reduce the load. This has not only existed since the COVID-19 pandemic, but the current situation shows the great potential of making appointments online, says Beat Burger, Founder of Medicosearch. With Medicosearch, patients can book an appointment online with over 100 providers of COVID tests.
The large number of COVID tests leads to more and more overloaded laboratories which lead to errors and delays in the result notification. There have been cases in which patients received a false test result or had to wait several days to get one2. Informing people who have been tested about the result as soon as possible is extremely important for fighting off the COVID-19 pandemic3. Patients need to notify their contacts and start contact tracing straightaway4. Digital solutions are also available in this area and can greatly support healthcare providers. Medicosearch has developed a code system which not only simplifies the entire test process, but also accelerates it.
Medicosearch code system begins with appointment booking. As soon as the patient has booked an appointment for the COVID test online, an individual code will be assigned. From this point on, the code is used to identify the patient or the sample. The taken sample is provided with a barcode which contains the patient's individual code. The barcode can be scanned with the Medicosearch app which allows the sample to be identified and patient information to be obtained. Once the test result has been determined, the patient can be informed of the result using the same app, in both German and English. With this code system, the time until patients receive their test results is reduced to 8-9 hours compared to the usual 48-72 hours5,6. To ensure data protection, the entire coding process is encrypted.