Diagnostic Drive-thru has Proven to be a Simple but Effective Solution for Virus Testing

Diagnostic Drive-thru has Proven to be a Simple but Effective Solution for Virus Testing

Throughout the country, parking lots have been turned into drive-thru testing operations and cars have become the waiting room. Cars sometimes have spent hours waiting in line to reach the testing area where they crack a window for a nasal swab or needle stick only to drive off and wait a little more for results. 

Drive-thru testing for the virus was first implemented in South Korea and was quickly adopted by many other countries. The idea was simple but very effective. By keeping a potentially sick person in their car and allowing plenty of ventilation thoughtout the testing area, the risk for spreading the virus was dramatically reduced. If testing was held in hospital or clinic, the risk of patients being exposed to the virus were far greater. Drive-thru has proven to be the best option to test hundreds of individuals.

Testing operations have been a close collaboration between hospitals, clinics, and labs in both the public and private sectors. Drive-thru testing sites have been rolled at large, national retailers like CVS, Target, Walgreens, and Walmart.

For example, many pharmacies associated with CVS and Walgreens are collaborating with government and health officials at all levels to provide access to virus testing with drive-thru testing. The government-run testing is available to the general public and is administered at a dedicated space/location outside the pharmacies (e.g., parking lots). At the testing locations, pharmacists are responsible for the self-administration of tests like Abbott’s new ID NOW test that provides results in as little as 5-minutes.  For the health and safety of employees and customers, staff are provided protective equipment as directed by the CDC and patients being tested are not allowed to leave their vehicle.

The actual lab testing is not done in most drive-thru sites. Either the medical workers collect 1-2 samples with a nasal or throat swab or the individuals are instructed on how to conduct self-swabbing tests. The total process takes 5-10 minutes.  Samples are then sent to a lab for testing. In most cases, test results are available in 24-48 hours.  During this crisis, laboratories have aggressively been working to find new and easier methods for testing. New tests are being developed and deployed that can take as little as 5 minutes to produce results. Many of the sites have the capacity to conduct 500+ tests each day.

The process for each testing center varies slightly from one location to the next. Many testing sites have required appointments. Patients are carefully screened by doctors/medial staff on the phone to ensure they even need to come to the drive-thru for possible testing. High priority cases include people who are 65 years or older, have severe symptoms (e.g., fever, cough or shortness of breath), are immunocompromised, have underlying medical conditions and/or are healthcare workers.

How Honeywell is Helping Diagnostic Drive-thru Operations

Honeywell’s complete solution of hardware and software for drive-thru disease testing offers front line workers a safer, more efficient way to manage the large influx of patients. The solution is simple to integrate with a hospital’s existing IT infrastructure and can be implemented immediately to meet today’s demand.

Honeywell equips the healthcare front line work with the right combination of mobility, scanning and printing solutions, coupled with a third-party software application that are designed specifically for disaster and disease management. Team members can gather information in a matter of seconds and administer tests at drive-thru sites without the additional exposure and contact from paperwork.  The solution includes:

  • Honeywell’s CT40 and CT60 Handheld Mobile Computers are designed for mobile workers that require real-time connectivity to business-critical applications. The CT40/CT60 can scan and capture data from the smallest barcodes in the field, like on drivers’ licenses and ID cards, and uses LTE cellular data or WiFi to transmit information in real-time. Built on the Mobility Edge™ platform, the CT40 and CT60 devices provide guaranteed compatibility through Android™ R (11) and OS support through 2028. With a secure mobile device, personal identification information such as health records are transmitted safely and securely to the hospital network.
  • Honeywell’s RP2/RP4 Rugged Label Printers are both small and portable, ideal for the mobile healthcare worker. Equipped with WiFi and Bluetooth and a rechargeable battery designed to last an entire shift, the RP2/RP4 reduces worker downtime and keeps staff on the front lines caring for patients while staying connected to the hospital’s network. Honeywell offers custom media for healthcare applications, such as labels for test vials, which can be printed on the RP2.
  • CaptureMax by OCR Solutions* is a third party custom disease management application designed to capture a patient’s personal information and photo from their ID and create a patient account within 4 seconds. Ideal for drive-thru or field test sites, the data is centrally stored on the cloud for easy deployment and features real-time tracking. The application interfaces with Honeywell’s CT60 mobile computer and RP2 printer to enable smoother, faster and safer on-demand testing.
  • Making Invocation Work within Your Budget. Honeywell-as-a-Service is an offering that helps you navigate technology challenges. It provides you with an innovative approach to acquire software, hardware, and services and pay for them through a monthly payment with no upfront capital outlay.

Contact a Honeywell Solutions Expert today! Call 1-800-934-3163.

1 Drive-thru diagnostics: How car culture facilitates COVID-19 testing
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4 Where Can I Get a Drive-Thru Coronavirus (COVID-19) Test Near Me?
5 I Didn’t Do a Good Enough Job Anticipating Demand.' What It's Like Working a Drive-Thru COVID-19 Testing Center

Barry J. Ewell

Barry J. Ewell is a Senior Content Marketing Communications Specialist for Honeywell Safety and Productivity Solutions. He has been researching and writing on supply chain topics since 1991.