South Florida First to Offer Fast, Secure TourHealth COVID-19 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 were working furiously to respond to the growing health crisis, especially for widespread COVID-19 testing.
In July of 2020, just four months after the pandemic’s onset, the United States exceeded other major countries in number of cases and deaths. The State of Florida was no different with the city of Miami becoming a hotspot in the south. On July 12, the state recorded a single-day record of 15,300 new cases totaling nearly 300,000 confirmed. Miami-Dade County cases made up nearly 65,000 of that number.
That same month, the State of Florida became the first to utilize 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 services provider NIC Inc., health care provider Impact Health and logistics company Next Marketing. created to support governments. 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 communities.
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.
By tapping into TourHealth’s unique partnership between experts in the medical, government and mobile event industries, TourHealth was able to deliver all of that as a single solution in just three days’ time.
Before launching TourHealth, the State of Florida was looking at separately contracting companies to secure testing infrastructure, hiring clinical staff, procuring COVID-19 testing equipment, accessing laboratories for results, marketing testing to residents and complying with all federal and state reporting requirements.
The first site in Miami was launched on August 3, with the second site going live two days later. Within days, the State extended testing with TourHealth, and two additional sites in West Palm Beach and Ft. Lauderdale were stood up in rapid time.
Through those four sites, TourHealth averaged around 2,500 tests per day, testing more than 120,000 people over a 12-week period. More than 90% of those tested received their results that same day using NIC’s Gov2Go app.
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 solution can be scaled up or down based on infection rates within a specific community. This flexibility allows governments and organizations to understand the current situation for their populations and take the necessary actions to ensure public safety. TourHealth can also be leveraged as an augmentation of current testing resources, as was the situation in south Florida. The Florida Division of Emergency Managements (FDEM) decided to continue expanding testing where the COVID-19 spread was highest, and the agency was able to quickly provide more testing options thanks to the easy scalability of TourHealth.
The TourHealth solution has relationships with multiple testing providers and labs to offer different types of COVID-19 tests including PCR and rapid antigen tests.
When testing increased, labs across the country became backlogged. Some were simply not able to process specimens in a timely fashion due to the significant volume. On average, citizens would receive their results seven days after being tested, hampering attempts to understand the virus’ spread in communities.
This is where TourHealth stands out. The solution began its deployment in Florida using PCR testing, then transitioned to rapid response testing upon request of the Florida Division of Emergency Management. The different testing type gave citizens in hard-hit south Florida their results in two hours or less and provided a better idea of real-time infection rates within the region by bypassing lab backlogs.
At the core of TourHealth is the citizen experience. TourHealth starts from the premise that the residents are a core facet in testing. 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.
Already deployed in 10 states with countless services offered, Gov2Go helped Florida residents find testing locations, schedule appointments, receive their results and get answers to any questions along the way. The application is now being used to report assessment results in four different states across multiple testing scenarios, providing a user experience critical to meeting partner needs.
In addition to work in Florida, TourHealth provides testing in South Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi and Kansas. Since TourHealth’s launch in late July, the solution has administered more than 200,000 tests across the country.
TourHealth’s capabilities are versatile with the ability to transition seamlessly to administering vaccines routinely at scale.
Medical experts project it will be recommended to get tested before receiving a vaccine. This coordination will be critical and can be provided seamlessly using TourHealth. 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.