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Nevada Health Services upgraded reporting system will help process lab results faster

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Posted at 12:45 PM, Jul 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-23 15:48:55-04

The Nevada Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) implemented an upgrade to the State’s Electronic Laboratory Reporting system to help handle ongoing reporting challenges and the regularly increasing volume of reports transmitted to the State.

This upgrade will allow the computer system to process results submitted by individual labs up to seven times faster than before, which will provide the State and the public more timely numbers as it relates to how many COVID-19 tests Nevada is conducting per day and how many tests are coming back positive.

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Similar to other systems in the State, the COVID-19 pandemic has put a strain on the system, which was never built to handle such volume of tests reported by a large number of laboratories.

In 2019, there were a total of 35,821 records of all the reportable conditions that came into Nevada’s public health system. The system now sees the quantity of lab reports in less than a week with COVID-19.

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The launch of the new upgrade began Wednesday morning, allowing the system to process all lab results reported to the State throughout the day Wednesday and to address the results transmitted to the State this week that have been backlogged in the previous version of the system.

As a result, the State is reporting more than 15,000 tests today, with more than 1,200 new positive cases. It is important to note that not all the tests were conducted in one day, but that the State system is now able to more rapidly capture test results reported by individual labs.

As a reminder, laboratories are expected to process COVID-19 results as fast as possible, notify patients and notify the State.

The system upgrade does not increase turnaround time in the labs running the tests themselves, but does provide a more timely transmittal of results.