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Tucson assisted living center picked by CDC to be the first to pilot COVID data app

Published: Dec. 8, 2020 at 10:50 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - A Tucson assisted living center is the first in the country to pilot a COVID-19 app from the Centers for Disease Control, United States Department of Health and Human Services, and United States Digital Service.

Its goal is to help employers/companies streamline data collection instead of spending hours entering testing data to report to the health department.

Via Elegante Assisted Living tests their caregivers twice a week which totals to around 130 COVID tests.

But while their rapid tests take 15 minutes for results, the paperwork to report each one does not.

“It’s very time consuming to do all of that, to be able to report to the county, to the state, our time was getting sucked on this testing,” said Community Director, Ira Branson.

Normally results would have to be entered in 3 different places: in the Via Eleganté records, a second time on a line list for the county records and then a third time on an online platform for the state records. Entering identical information three times not only can lead to humor error but take up time.

Now, with the new app, SimpleReport, they’re able to do all of it within a few clicks.

“It sends it both to the state and county for us, everything is queued in there the information for the caregivers are saved, all we have to do is type in their names,” said Branson.

SimpleReport essentially acts as a data hub. It allows you to store employee and resident data. That way after a test, you pull up the profile and, in a few clicks, it’s sent off. It also automatically converts your data to comply with the requirements of your local public health department. The testing data is sent to the county and state in real time with no reporting delays.

Branson said they’ve been fortunate not to see a COVID case within the center, but if one is ever reported, the data will get to the health department within minutes.

That way, it frees them up to focus on what matters most.

“It gives them more time with our residents and assisting with our other staff that’s on the floor,” said Branson.

The CDC’s COVID-19 Response Incident Manager, Dr. Henry Walke, added, “The CDC remains committed to finding innovative solutions to leverage data and modern technology to make a difference in people’s lives during the COVID-19 pandemic. We are happy to bring our expertise in public health and epidemiology to partner with technologists at the U.S. Digital Service, and we hope to quickly grow beyond this pilot and see this technology available for free to testing sites across the country.”

Learn more about SimpleReport at simplereport.cdc.gov and Via Eleganté Assisted Living and Memory Care at viaelegante.com.

Copyright 2020 KOLD News 13. All rights reserved.