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How QR codes are improving the US response to COVID-19

October 14, 2021 | Daniel Doll
QR codes for COVID-19 test validation

Even as the delta and other variants compound the effects of vaccine hesitancy—prolonging the nation's battle with COVID-19—many in America are attempting to return to some sort of pre-coronavirus normalcy. CompuGroup Medical is helping in this changing environment by creating a verifiable QR code link to a person's COVID-19 test results as more and more places require this kind of documentation.

Businesses and agencies require proof of COVID-19 testing

To ensure the public health and safety at large gatherings and in-door, in-person activities, many organizations are implementing policies that require individuals to show proof of a recent negative COVID-19 test result.

The requirements and mandates are popping up among businesses, concert and sporting venues, airports, cruise lines, schools, and other organizations and agencies.

For example, President Biden recently unveiled a more aggressive national strategy to combat the delta variant that would require vaccines or regular testing for businesses with 100 or more workers. California issued a similar mandate that requires its healthcare workers and state employees to be vaccinated or show proof of regular testing. States including Virginia, Connecticut, New Jersey, and others have enacted related policies, as well.

CGM LABDAQ QR Code Result Report

Patients receive their QR codes with their lab results, or they can access it digitally through the lab's patient portal.

At international airports, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a requirement for proof of a negative COVID-19 test—or recovery from COVID-19—for all air passengers arriving in the United States.

With the return of live musical performances, promoters AEG Presents and Live Nation Entertainment each announced that they would soon require attendees to provide vaccination cards or proof of negative COVID-19 test results where permitted by law.

CompuGroup Medical develops a solution with QR codes

Voicing an increasing demand for a solution, laboratories urgently requested customized reporting that could include mobile-friendly QR codes to link to a patient's COVID-19 test results.

CompuGroup Medical responded by developing such a solution for both its CGM LABDAQ and CGM SCHUYLAB laboratory information systems. The new feature for QR codes creates a secure link to a testing lab's web portal so that a person's test result can be verified easily.

Patients receive their QR code on the result report provided by the laboratory. This can be on paper or digitally, or patients could access the report directly if the lab offers access through its online patient portal.

With the QR code in hand, a person can meet the new requirements and mandates being implemented at jobsites, offices, venues, airports, and more. Patients show their printed report or present the QR code on their mobile device. An administrator scans the image on their own cell phone and verifies the result as it appears directly from the testing laboratory.

Moving ahead, reporting with QR codes will continue to be valuable whenever testing results must be verified. Casinos, for example, will enjoy a smoother employee and administrative experience for their routine toxicology testing.

QR Code

Patients show their QR code, so their test results can be verified directly with the testing laboratory.

The importance of a verifiable connection

It has become increasingly important to create a secure link back to the testing laboratory following reports of people trying to forge COVID-19 testing and vaccination documents. In July, two American travelers were fined more than $15,000 when they arrived at a Toronto airport holding allegedly fraudulent documents that suggested the pair had received COVID-19 vaccinations and negative pre-departure tests. In August, a Florida couple was arrested in Hawaii after allegedly presenting fake vaccination documentation for themselves and their two children.

The QR code solution provided by CompuGroup Medical links to a custom result report hosted by the lab through its CGM LABNEXUS or CGM SCHUYNET laboratory outreach solution. This secure connection to the testing lab's web portal should help to alleviate any concerns over the authenticity of the results.

Labs can protect any additional patient testing information by creating a split group or special report within the LIS. With this workflow, COVID-19 testing would be reported separately from any other testing that may have been ordered for a patient. The QR code would only reveal the desired test results, and anything else ordered for a particular patient would remain private.


Finishing the fight against COVID-19

More than ever, America has the tools it needs to finish its fight with the coronavirus. QR code reporting helps us ensure that public gatherings and in-door settings remain safe, and that helps issue in a return to normalcy for our day-to-day lives.

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