A Human Factors approach to COVID-19 Testing Process

The COVID-19 pandemic has created an unprecedented surge of patients and overwhelming use of healthcare services. Researchers and innovators worldwide are converging towards rapid point-of-care tests to cope with this emergency; as the number of tests available increases, new challenges emerge regarding when to deploy new tests along the pathway, how they would complement current tests, how they could inform a rapid clinical decision and how to evaluate their clinical utility.

The Human Factors experts at the NIHR London In-Vitro Diagnostics (LIVD) Co-operative are mapping out the current diagnostic clinical pathway for COVID-19 to appreciate its variability and to highlight key factors that may influence the deployment of new tests. The well-established NIHR LIVD systems approach is adopted to understand individual (i.e. micro) issues and wider social and organisational factors (i.e. macro issues) that characterise this complex healthcare diagnostics process. Frontline clinicians and key players are interviewed with the aim to provide a greater understanding of requirements that new diagnostics tests should comply with.

The purpose of publishing this pathway is to share the knowledge and initial findings from interviews with key stakeholders (clinicians and laboratory staff etc) based in London. We expect this document to enable decision makers to easily generate projected pathways and to rapidly adopt diagnostics measures. The document is also expected to support Human Factors expert and innovators in medical devices evaluating the clinical utility of their innovations.

DISCLAIMER:  This pathway has been developed by Human Factors researchers for research purposes only and should NOT to be used to inform clinical decision making. Please note that this is a LIVE document that is continuously being updated. 

If  you have any comments or suggestions, please email  Dr Massimo Micocci:  m.micocci@imperial.ac.uk or Dr Anna Mclister: a.mclister@imperial.ac.uk