January 12, 2022

How to Set Up an At-Home Diagnostic Testing Platform

Ash Wellness

Whether you represent a small clinic, large hospital network, or D2C business, at-home health testing with a telehealth platform can transform your remote care. Stay up-to-date and competitive by scaling virtual diagnostic services rapidly. Your patients and end-users will thank you!  

Below are five major steps Ash Wellness recommends to onboard virtual healthcare and diagnostics safely and efficiently for your healthcare facility or business. Consider it your complete guide to building a comprehensive telehealth delivery platform from the experts in the field. This blog will outline not only steps, but also the questions to consider and partnership opportunities. Our space is a highly complicated one, and our goal is to transform some of the insider jargon and knowledge into usable next steps for your business.  

Partner with a lab 

Start by selecting a telemedicine lab or group of labs to partner with; keep the following questions in mind. Can this lab process every type of diagnostic test my business offers? Do we need to partner with more than one lab in order to offer a full panel of at-home health testing? What states can this lab operate in? 

Consider these three main lab set-ups: 

  1. HL7: This is the old school industry standard. Integrating with a lab using HL7 requires setting up a secure VPN connection to submit and receive orders. These labs transmit data in slightly different ways, so many companies hire an outsourced IT vendor that the lab uses to make sense of reports. They’re also only unidirectional or bi-directional, which makes it difficult to incorporate multiple touch points.    
  2. SFTP: These labs are quick to set up, but difficult to scale. Labs that integrate via SFTP create a folder on a secure server where users manually check results.  These labs also have their own data requirements, and there is no standardized way to access the data.  Some labs use CSV, while others drop XML files, etc. 
  3. API: Ash Wellness integrates with labs that use HL7 and SFTP and transforms them into API, considered the gold standard in engineering. API integration allows two systems to ‘talk’ to one another. These types of labs are quick to scale, produce fast results, and offer multi-directional touch points for more comprehensive telehealth care. 

When you partner with Ash Wellness, we organize the API lab coordination and set up so you can focus on serving your end-users. 

Set up medical provider review 

In order to offer labs to patients, you need to have a medical provider confirm that all tests are appropriate. This means hiring a doctor or clinician to assess and approve tests. You need to recruit and hire physicians in every state your patients are located in. When you partner with a company like Ash Wellness, we connect you with our network of licensed physicians in all 50 states to quickly scale your business. Our online portal makes it easy for physicians to long in, review outstanding orders, and provide approval. 

Build out operations  

To distribute kits, your business should also build out its operations and fulfillment network. How do you plan to get kits into the hands of end-users? Procure collection devices? Your fulfillment apparatus is key to keeping end-users in the loop. What about HIPAA compliance? Many states have their own compliance and reporting requirements. Are your labs obligated to report certain results, including, for example, at-home STI test results? We recommend speaking with one or more privacy lawyers to ensure your business is up to snuff. 

If the process of building out an operations system feels overwhelming, consider bringing on a partner. In addition to our patient portal and basic test kits, Ash Wellness offers an operations distribution service for hospitals, clinics, and other businesses. We manage all compliance and fulfillment requirements. 

Kit your collection devices 

Next, consider the test kit itself. What kinds of physical tubes and swabs do you need? How should the packaging look, and how do you create a best-in-class consumer experience? You need a design background to make an intuitive and well-branded test kit for users, as well as instructions and supplemental education materials to ensure error rates remain low. It takes quality assurance knowledge to choose the right collection devices and supplemental materials. Ash Wellness will build your kit with high quality collection devices. We also offer white label design templates for easy branding.   

Integrate a virtual telehealth platform 

The final key element to setting up an at home diagnostic testing platform for remote care is building a virtual telehealth platform. These patient portals allow your end-users to place orders, register their kits, access educational or instructional materials, view test results, interact with your business (Ash Wellness can provide direct-to-consumer support as well), and sometimes coordinate with doctors. It’s imperative that your technology offer top-rate security infrastructure to protect private data and patient medical records. Ash Wellness offers our own while label patient portal platform designed by our in-house engineering team.   

Conclusion 

Putting together a solid at-home diagnostic testing platform for remote care is no easy task, but you don’t have to go at it alone. Ash Wellness helps providers and businesses set up at home diagnostic testing for their communities. If you want to learn more about partnering with Ash Wellness, book a time for a walkthrough of how our platform can help you turn on at home diagnostics for your company or organization in a matter of weeks.

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Switch on at-home diagnostics today for your business or organization.

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