Alabama Dept. of Corrections Focuses on Inmate Safety with TourHealth Testing
Implications of the coronavirus pandemic hit organizations across the nation at the speed of light. When it came to closing offices and digitizing government services, many government organizations worked furiously to respond to the growing health crisis, especially for widespread COVID-19 testing. One area the pandemic hit disproportionately was state corrections systems. With inmates and staff in close proximity by nature, outbreaks in carceral facilities began to increase. In an effort to get ahead and stay ahead of the influx, the Alabama Department of Corrections utilized TourHealth. TourHealth is an onsite COVID-19 testing solution designed to accelerate testing in communities across the country. TourHealth is a partnership between digital government firm NIC Inc., health care provider Impact Health and logistics company Next Marketing created to support governments. The solution offers a combined 80 years of industry-leading experience and provides all the logistics, secure technology and clinical expertise to make coordinating testing easy and seamless for governments.
TourHealth uses proven medical processes and government technology to ensure seamless, quick and secure testing. The turnkey structure can be quickly configured for any test type and can even be modified to distribute vaccines in the future.
TourHealth secured testing infrastructure, hired clinical staff, procured COVID-19 testing equipment, worked with laboratories for results and complied with all federal and state reporting requirements on the ADOC’s behalf. By tapping into our unique partnership between experts in the medical, government and mobile event industries, TourHealth was able to deliver all of that as a single solution.
Flexible and Scalable
In addition to its turnkey features, TourHealth enables states, localities, agencies and higher education organizations to seamlessly scale services to meet their specific needs.
The Alabama Department of Corrections’ goal was to establish baseline testing for all inmates and staff, creating a one-time snapshot of cases within its locations to help identify where an outbreak could occur.
TourHealth was contracted to administer 26,000 point of care tests to 19,600 inmates and 7,000 staff members in 33 locations. The PCR testing occurred over 41 dates and results were returned within a 72-hour time frame. TourHealth testing also augmented the department’s clinical staff, helping already busy medical professionals focus on critical care. Because of TourHealth’s flexibility, our professionals were able to provide mass testing without any disruption to the department’s regular operations. The solution is also able to be scaled up or down based on infection rates, keeping the ADOC on top of any potential outbreak.
At the core of TourHealth is the user experience. We start from the premise that individuals have to be a core facet in testing. For the public, TourHealth is powered by NIC’s Gov2Go®, the first personal assistant for government. Gov2Go helps consumers navigate government from the convenience of their mobile devices. However, TourHealth can also be implemented for private organizations using NIC’s quick-code form solution, AppEngine.
This technology helped the Alabama Department of Corrections stay organized by digitizing paper processes and using customized reporting to each entity involved. In fact, the technology was so efficient with logistics, it helped the ADOC staff schedule and provide flu vaccines to all inmates as well. Looking forward to a coronavirus vaccine, this is a critical efficiency as medical experts project it will be recommended to get tested before receiving a vaccine.
According to the Marshall Project, by Nov. 17, at least 197,659 people in prison had tested positive for COVID-19, the highest level since the start of the pandemic. Once prisoner testing began in late April, numbers found the illness had been circulating among asymptomatic inmates in much greater numbers than previously known.
However, while many states’ new cases over time rates rose and fell, Alabama’s stayed low consistently. According to the COVID Prison Project, the state has totaled 783 total cases with a positivity rate of 28.82% per 1,000 inmates. For perspective, Alabama has the sixth largest inmate population of all 50 states.
In addition to our work in Alabama, TourHealth provides testing in South Carolina, Florida, Mississippi, Nevada and Kansas. TourHealth has also been awarded COVID-19 testing contracts in four other states in which we are working to secure specific testing locations.
TourHealth’s capabilities are versatile with the ability to transition seamlessly to administering vaccines routinely at scale.
States, localities, agencies, and higher education organizations will be able to access the same seamless, quick and secure processes used in TourHealth testing with COVID-19 vaccination.