Building Washington State’s Capacity to Process Covid-19 Test Results

Faced with an unprecedented volume of test results, we assisted the Department of Health by increasing staffing bandwidth and providing architectural guidance on complex system issues.

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Overview

As the Covid-19 pandemic tore across the nation, states faced a shortage in the capacity to both control the spread of disease and manage the influx of Covid data.  This was true for the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) as they struggled with efforts to box in the virus and build staff expertise to process Covid data.  Faced with resource shortages, they turned to Altarum’s interoperability and disease surveillance expertise for support managing the data necessary to direct the state’s pandemic response.

Our Approach

Drawing on nearly two decades of experience supporting the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services disease surveillance and data reporting systems, Altarum stepped in to evaluate the Washington State DOH’s Covid-19 lab and case reporting needs. Given the urgency demanded by the pandemic, we were able quickly integrate with the Washington team, improve HL7 message processes, streamline the onboarding and monitoring of laboratories, train newly hired staff members, optimize reporting throughput, and enhance data feeds essential for reporting, modeling, and visualizing probable Covid-19 case data.

Results

Altarum’s staffing support of Washington State DOH’s Covid-19 surveillance and informatic efforts assisted the state’s response to the outbreak. Our technical and subject matter expertise in public health data interoperability and disease surveillance systems will continue to guide the state as it works to modernize its public health data systems and processes.

Building Washington State’s Capacity to Process Covid-19 Test Results Contact

Contact Us

Laura Rappleye

Laura Rappleye

Director, Public Health Interoperability

Areas of Expertise
  • Interoperability Standards Development
  • Public Health and Clinical Integration
  • Health Information Exchange

Laura Rappleye has 20 years of experience planning and implementing health IT solutions in public health and clinical care settings. She specializes in advancing population health through integrating clinical and public health data sets. Laura has led the creation of standardized implementation guides and automated data quality assurance and validation tools for the state of Michigan. Laura serves as a co-chair for the Health Level Seven (HL7) Public Health Work Group.

Jim Kamp

Jim Kamp  - MBA, MA

Deputy Director, Public Health Interoperability

Areas of Expertise
  • Public Health Interoperability
  • Health IT Project Management
  • Stakeholder Engagement and Outreach

Jim Kamp has more than 30 years of combined experience in IT program management, including for government health care agencies. He leads projects for the Vital Records and Health Statistics Division of the state of Michigan to improve electronic birth reporting and for Washington state to improve ELR processing of Covid-19 data. He builds partnerships needed to advance interoperability at all levels of government and serves in leadership roles in the Michigan and Midwest chapters of HIMSS. Jim holds an MBA from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan.