In a move to make the infection control and statutory reporting process within NHS Trusts more efficient and reliable, Liaison Group, in partnership with Infinity Health, has developed a digital platform which has enabled NHS staff at five Trusts in England to upload their COVID-19 test results easily and quickly online. This brings the total number of patient-facing staff in NHS hospitals using mii Tasks to more than 37,000.
Since the introduction of twice-weekly COVID-19 testing for all frontline staff from 23 November, NHS trusts have been looking to find ways to coordinate and manage this mammoth task. There is no existing process or guidance to manage the huge influx of information, and no easy way of extracting data to report to Public Health England. Many have been relying on paper, public web forms, and Excel spreadsheets. This can be labour intensive to process and manage, may compromise data quality and reliability, and are not always secure.
Barts Health NHS Trust, University Hospital Southampton, The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust, The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, and Stockport NHS Foundation Trust collectively onboard their staff onto mii Tasks, which sends automated reminders to every staff member required to self-test. Staff can then securely submit their results and receive instructions to re-test or isolate if necessary. The data is collected and analysed in real-time by the Trust.
The five Trusts are now tracking, analysing, and reporting on staff COVID-19 data in real-time, in a way that is significantly more efficient and secure than using spreadsheets and paper forms. An additional benefit of mii Tasks is that the data can be split by categories including role type, department, ward, gender, and ethnicity, which is supporting them to meet statutory Public Health England (PHE) reporting requirements, identify outbreaks within hospital sites, and understand trends in the infection.
Dr Freya Pearson, Operational Staff Testing Lead at University Hospital Southampton, said: “Keeping our staff and patients safe during the pandemic has been our absolute priority and the lateral flow testing option has added to our ability to achieve that goal.
“When this testing method became available, our challenge was to ensure we had a reliable and secure way for staff to register and record their results and make it as seamless as possible to work with our existing testing platforms that staff would find easy to navigate.
Elliott Engers, CEO at Infinity Health and Andrew Armitage, Group CEO at Liaison Group, said: “Regularly testing NHS staff for COVID-19 is a fundamental part of infection control. Paper and public online forms simply aren’t fit for the purpose of managing test result data, yet in the absence of a national system, and under significant pressure to act, this is what many have been forced to resort to.
“We are delighted to have been able to move quickly and support several trusts with a data collection and reporting tool they can rely on. Together we will ensure that NHS staff remain safe and well whilst at work and can protect the patients they care for.”
To find out more about the lateral flow testing solution, please visit our website at https://liaisongroup.com/liaison-workforce/#tasks