Quest Diagnostics has launched a new suite of Return to Work services built around large-scale workforce COVID-19 testing. The services are designed to help organizations access and act on COVID-19 laboratory insights in order to foster safer workplace environments for their employees as the nation begins to restart the U.S. economy.
The Quest Diagnostics Return to Work services feature access to COVID-19 diagnostic and antibody testing and related capabilities, from event staffing to digital results reporting. “All of us are eager to get back to work as safely as possible, and COVID-19 testing is essential to making this happen,” said Steve Rusckowski, Chairman, CEO and President, Quest Diagnostics. “Quest has been at the forefront of COVID-19 testing, and our Return to Work solution is informed by this experience as well as our leadership in population health services for employers across the country. Given our relationships with thousands of employers, we feel Quest can make a major contribution with our Return to Work services. We will empower organizations of all sizes to use lab insights to help them foster safer and healthy environments as our nation plans to reopen our economy.”
COVID-19 laboratory testing principally involves molecular diagnostics to detect viral RNA during active disease and serology testing to identify antibodies produced by the body following exposure to the virus. Both types of tests provide insights into disease risk for individuals and populations. Quest is committed to high quality COVID-19 testing and analysis and uses tests that have received FDA emergency use authorization as well as met the company’s rigorous quality criteria.
Quest Diagnostics is the leading provider of employee population health and workplace drug testing services, serving thousands of employers across the United States. The company’s services range from lab and biometric screening to behavioral and mental health interventions to telemedicine and flu clinics.
To accommodate expected demand, Quest Diagnostics is scaling up its COVID-19 lab operations. The company expects to have capacity to perform approximately 150,000 molecular diagnostic tests a day by the end of June, compared to approximately 80,000 of these tests a day currently. The company also has capacity to perform approximately 200,000 antibody tests a day.
Modular Approach Tailored to Different Workforces
“Employers of all kinds are trying to put programs in place to help protect their employees and customers as we return to work over the coming months. To be more effective, these programs will need to use high quality laboratory-based testing with software applications and analytics along with implementation of worksite safety programs,” said Jay G. Wohlgemuth, M.D., Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, and head of Quest’s Employer Population Health business. “Every workforce has different testing needs depending on the local environment, the type of work, the work environment and interactions with customers for the job category. Our Return to Work solution can be tailored to each organization’s unique requirements.”
Among the modular features of the new service suite are:
- Event hosting that includes on-site temperature checks and respiratory and blood specimen collection by trained Quest Diagnostics staff. (Diagnostic testing is performed on respiratory specimens and antibody testing is performed on blood specimens.)
- Access to a variety of specimen collection options, ranging from respiratory specimen collection for diagnostic testing to use of the company’s 2,200 Patient Service Centers for blood draws for COVID-19 antibody testing.
- IT solutions that include secure online questionnaires to help direct participants to the appropriate testing (diagnostic or antibody) based on factors such as symptoms and exposure to sick individuals and easy-to-understand results reporting.
- Access to physician ordering, oversight and telemedicine services.
- Data integrated with contact tracing and infection control software applications in use by employers.
- Influenza vaccination services are also provided and will ultimately incorporate SARS CoV-2 vaccines, when available.
Quest Diagnostics is also implementing a prioritization strategy for employers with workforces critical to pandemic response. “Some jobs are higher risk than others, and we plan to prioritize testing access for organizations that employ healthcare workers, first responders and others whose health and safety are critical to our nation’s response to COVID-19,” said Dr. Wohlgemuth.