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ROCHESTER, Minn. — Immediately identifying health care workers exposed to a patient with COVID-19, and quickly assessing their risk of contraction is critical to prevent the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. In less than two weeks, Mayo Clinic has implemented a streamlined process and created electronic tools to close that loop within an average of two hours of a confirmed case, at any time of day or night.
The system is being used at Mayo Clinic in Rochester and Mayo Clinic Health System facilities, and will be live at Mayo in Arizona and Florida this week as well.
Led by Mayo Clinic Occupational Health Services, a cross-specialty team has established a system that integrates medical record data with non-clinical information and contact tracing resources to:
“This is a huge improvement,” says Laura Breeher, M.D., M.P.H., medical director of Mayo Clinic Occupational Health Services and one of the project’s leaders. “The digital tools will add efficiency and position us to continue contact tracing even if the number of COVID-19 cases increases substantially.”
More than 230 Mayo physicians, nurses, administrators, project managers, IT specialists, computer programmers, health system engineers and call center staff at multiple sites collaborated on the project. Almost half of the Occupational Health contact tracing team now includes staff from other departments who volunteered to help.
Dr. Breeher added that timing is critical, since the goal is to catch potentially exposed staff before they report to work. Because of this, the call center and triage process operates around the clock.
All Mayo employees working on campus are required to wear a mask, check their temperature twice per day, monitor themselves for other COVID-19 symptoms, and contact Occupational Health and stay home if they are exhibiting symptoms.
For more information on COVID-19, go to the Mayo Clinic News Network and mayoclinic.org. Also check the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for updates.
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