Two months in the past, Arizona and the remainder of the nation have been mired in a backlog of a whole lot of hundreds of COVID-19 exams.
Take a look at outcomes have been taking weeks to course of and laboratories and authorities officers have been dealing with public criticism.
In Arizona, Dave Dexter, the president and CEO of Sonora Quest Laboratories, the biggest diagnostic lab within the state, attended a gathering with state public well being officers who requested for what appeared just like the “not possible”: The manufacturing of 60,000 COVID-19 exams a day.
“I had no concept how we may probably get to 60,000 a day, so I went residence and had what I name certainly one of my white wine nights in my profession — that is my twenty first yr as CEO and I’ve the battle scars to show it,” stated Dexter, who recently spoke to Chamber Enterprise Information concerning the firm’s dash to put Arizona on the forefront of testing within the nation. “However by these experiences, I’ve realized there’s all the time an answer and also you simply must hold your mind open to completely different potentialities.”
“Operation Catapult” was launched
That evening Dexter devised Operation Catapult to make it occur.
Inside 48 hours, he pulled collectively a $10 million take care of a “verbal handshake” with a number of companions together with Banner Well being, the biggest hospital chain within the state, EuroImmun, a world chief in manufacturing medical diagnostic tools, the Arizona Division of Well being Companies (DHS), and others.
Everybody started working 24/7 to extend manufacturing of exams, stated Dexter, who additionally serves as normal supervisor of Quest Diagnostics, the world’s main supplier of diagnostic info companies. Sonora Quest and its companions launched into a large effort to buy tools, arrange manufacturing traces and provide chains, rent 215 new workers, and take different measures to ramp up manufacturing of exams and take a look at outcomes.
Arizona capability now exceeds demand
Inside days, Sonora Quest had eradicated a 65,000-test backlog. By Aug. 4, its COVID-19 testing capability exceeded demand, the one lab within the U.S. in a position to have the ability to make that declare, firm officers stated.
And as of Monday, it was offering take a look at outcomes for each antibody and COVID-19 exams inside 48 hours, they stated.
With new manufacturing traces being put in place, Sonora Quest is on track to provide 60,000 exams a day by the top of August or quickly after. That may assist place the state for virus surges within the fall, Dexter stated.
“We’ll make Arizona one of the vital productive testing states — bar none — within the nation,” he stated.
As testing stabilizes, Dexter is making ready to satisfy new milestones.
One is the launch of a brand new Employer Options program to assist corporations deliver again workers safely. Among the many companies provided to employers can be:
-Streamlined lab ordering
-Cell diagnostic companies for on-site testing and testing of homebound sufferers
-Larger entry to testing statewide
Subsequent on the checklist: contact tracing, each day testing at nursing houses
Dexter additionally needs to work with businesses that do contact tracing to assist sluggish the unfold of the virus. Contact tracing entails finding the entire individuals who have been in touch with a affected person who exams optimistic for the virus to allow them to be quarantined if wanted.
Every day testing at expert nursing amenities is one other objective Dexter is advocating for. Earlier this yr, Sonora Quest labored with the Arizona Division of Well being Service to get residents and workers examined in any respect 147 expert nursing amenities. Extra must be carried out, he stated.
“I’ve a ardour for long run care and I feel it’s underserved in some ways,” he stated.
Dexter stated he and his workforce are ready on steerage from state businesses and Banner Well being to
prioritize particular teams for testing, notably for residents at long run care amenities, assisted residing and different locations the place extremely susceptible residents dwell.
Lastly, the query of training looms as one other problem, Dexter stated. Methods to present some type of testing for lecturers and college students, even when it entails focusing on particular teams which might be extra vulnerable to spreading the virus.
“No matter it takes on this pandemic, we’ve to discover a strategy to serve all Arizonans.”
About Sonora Quest Laboratories
Sonora Quest, an independently run three way partnership between Banner Well being and Quest Diagnostics, is the nation’s largest built-in laboratory system with roughly 3,500 workers serving greater than 26,000 sufferers every single day throughout Arizona. In contrast to nationwide diagnostic laboratories, it supplies a continuum of take care of all sectors of the healthcare trade. Because the market share chief in scientific laboratory testing in Arizona, it performs practically 90 million diagnostic exams per yr.
To view its each day testing information, go to: Daily COVID-19 testing.
This story was initially printed at Chamber Business News.