3 non-traditional settings for deploying CLIA-waived testing - Primary Health

3 non-traditional settings for deploying CLIA-waived testing

  • March 26, 2024

  • Adi Chandrasekhar, MD, MPH, FACP

  • 2 minutes

Many non-clinical settings are good candidates for Primary’s efficient onsite CLIA-waived testing.

Earlier this year, we published a blog post highlighting the CLIA waiver and how organizations can use tests that are CLIA-waived to expand access to testing in non-traditional settings. Today, we’ll expand on that by presenting some models for deploying this offering in different settings.

Residential and assisted living facilities

The first setting to consider is one that houses the elderly in relatively independent conditions like assisted living facilities. The elderly are particularly vulnerable to increased morbidity and mortality from certain infections like influenza and Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV). Diagnosing cases early can help contain spread to other high-risk residents in the facility. Using a CLIA-waived test can greatly speed up detection of such outbreaks. 

Elderly residents are also more likely to suffer from urinary symptoms that can be concerning for urinary tract infections (UTIs). Traditional models to diagnose and treat UTIs depend heavily on the ability to test urine samples in physician offices or labs. Using a CLIA-waived test could help such residents get timely access to tests that can then guide potential treatment for urinary infections without having to leave their facility to see a provider. 

Schools and higher education

The second setting to look into is schools. These are often staffed with some onsite healthcare staff such as a school nurse but typically do not have a physician present. Using CLIA-waived testing can greatly expand access to students getting tested for conditions like streptococcal pharyngitis, influenza or RSV. Older students who are sexually active may also want to seek confidential testing around their sexual health or pregnancy, which again can be easily offered through CLIA-based tests. 

Homeless shelters

A final setting that also highlights the utility of CLIA-based testing is the shelter for unhoused individuals. These facilities are often crowded and prone to outbreaks of various infectious diseases. As with the elderly, these populations can be uniquely vulnerable to the spread of respiratory infections like influenza and RSV. And there are gaps in access to sexual health services and pregnancy testing that can also be well addressed through CLIA-based testing.

In summary, we have highlighted just a few non-clinical settings where CLIA-waived point of care testing could be deployed to keep people healthy and infection-free. There are many other possibilities. Talk to Primary.Health about transforming your site into a CLIA-waived laboratory; we provide the software, test access and training, CLIA certification, and support you need. Your staff and the people in your care will thank you!

Disclaimer: This blog content and linked materials are not intended as individual medical advice, diagnosis or treatment, and should not be considered as such. Any readers with medical concerns should contact a licensed healthcare provider. This blog is provided for informational purposes only.

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