Case Study
The better the question. The better the answer. The better the world works.
Case Study

How automation is enabling COVID-19 test result reporting at speed

EY teams are deploying bots to process COVID-19 tests at pace in the United States.

Related topics Consulting COVID-19 AI Automation
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The better the question

How is intelligent automation speeding up COVID-19 testing?

We’re helping an American test provider use intelligent automation to process, manage and report COVID-19 test results faster.

Researcher testing with novel coronavirus diagnostics kit

When COVID-19 cases began appearing in America, our client leaned in to provide crucial testing to the public. The volume of cases that would emerge as the virus spread throughout the country has been astonishing with at one point many thousands of pending test results pressuring the system.

EY was empowered to increase the system’s speed and use automation to generate near real-time reports. We deployed bot technology to speed up manual processes and ensure more accurate reporting.

First, we asked two vital questions:

  • Where can we automate manual processes to give valuable time back to physicians and other professionals managing the COVID-19 efforts?
  • How do we report crucial health and results data to the government and other key stakeholders in a timely manner?
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The better the answer

EY teams deploy bots to process test results at pace

Eliminating time-consuming manual processes so physicians can focus on patients in urgent need.

Where can we automate manual processes to give valuable time back to physicians and other professionals managing the COVID-19 efforts?

We wanted to reduce the length of the testing and management processes. The current process took up to 7 days from biological materials arriving at the lab to results being reported to physicians via phone and online platform. If physicians receive results faster, they can work with patients earlier to develop treatment plans that are potentially life-saving.

Our first step was to create bots that would eliminate any time-consuming, manual processes. For example, the test appointment scheduling processes that were static and relied on manual activities will now be dynamic, pulled automatically from different systems and data lakes and will rely on new algorithms that manage capacity to best serve patients, physicians, and specialists to meet the huge demand ahead.

How do we report crucial health and results data to the government and other key stakeholders in a timely manner?

Speeding up test results is only part of the solution. EY helped implement bots automating the data aggregation and generation of these vital reports that relay crucial test data, including numbers of positive test results, the number of pending tests in the backlog and how long they have been pending.

This data helps inform the government’s response strategy by ensuring they have the latest and most up to date test information. It also provides test operators with a clear view of where to focus efforts and enabled managers to load balance the influx of tests across testing centers, further optimizing the time taken to complete tests and provide results to patients.

When we eliminate unnecessary manual activity from these testing systems we free up a lot of time for physicians, management and specialists to focus on patient care and make important medical decisions. We're building and implementing new technologies to increase testing speed and deliver results fast, while still protecting patient privacy.
Ricardo Vilanova
EY Americas Consulting Intelligent Automation Principal
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The better the world works

Better testing makes us better equipped to defeat COVID-19

Reporting vital data accurately and at speed is essential in the fight against COVID-19.

Helping the healthcare industry prepare for the now, next and beyond

Rapid patient testing is an essential part of the nation’s strategy to combat the COVID-19 crisis. By automating processes and generating reports more quickly, our client is able to deliver patient results at pace so that physicians can more rapidly treat patients, companies can be more informed to better plan for how we start returning to normal, and the government gets the essential statistics it needs to develop impactful solutions to battle COVID-19.

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