Geisinger Streamlines Return of COVID-19 Test Results with Automation

Members News

Geisinger is using automation technology to streamline the return of results for COVID-19, flu, and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) tests.

Patients who have a test for any of these conditions at a Geisinger facility will now receive an automated phone call with their result, positive or negative, within 24 hours of the test result being finalized. Patients will be asked to verify their identity by providing their date of birth and will also be given the opportunity to speak with a nurse in Geisinger’s RN Triage.

Patients can also call Geisinger’s COVID-19 hotline, 570-284-3657, or any primary care clinic, and press ‘1#’ to get their results via the automation tool. Callers will be asked to verify their identity by providing their date of birth and Geisinger medical record number (MRN) before receiving results. Test results will continue to be available through the MyGeisinger patient portal, and patients will also receive a letter by mail with their test result within seven days.

Patients who test positive for COVID-19 will receive a daily automated phone call from Geisinger to monitor their symptoms for at least 10 days following their positive test. If a patient indicates they have new or worsening symptoms, the patient will be immediately directed to Geisinger’s RN Triage line for assessment. Patients can opt out of the daily monitoring calls if they wish.

“Automating outreach for COVID, flu and RSV test results frees up our invaluable nursing staff to focus on critical patient care,” said Emily LaFeir, senior director of innovation operations for Geisinger’s Steele Institute for Health Innovation. “Automation has been a critical technology to enhance our healthcare workforce and meet the challenging demands the pandemic has presented.”

Automating the return of test results was spearheaded by the Steele Institute’s intelligent automation hub (IAH) and voice systems. The intelligent automation team works with departments across the Geisinger system, developing automated solutions for processes and tasks where efficiency can be improved. Automating routine tasks frees employees to do higher-value work that better uses their skills, which translates to better care for Geisinger patients.

“This collaboration of interactive voice recognition and outreach automation is just the beginning,” said Ron Savage, program director for information technology at Geisinger. “We will continue to enhance our technology and teamwork to empower our employees and provide care to our patients in effective ways.”