The right clues to box in COVID-19

As state governments reduce stay-at-home orders and the country begins to open up, health experts agree on one thing. We’re going to need an army of contact tracers, sometimes referred to as disease detectives. These professionals work to trace back any interactions that a positive patient, now referred to as a person under investigation (PUI), may have had before they were diagnosed. The goal is to identify anyone else who might be potentially infected because they came in contact with the PUI. 

Just like real detectives, contact tracers need clues and the right tools. Contact information for the PUI and the PUI’s known associates are valuable clues that contact tracers can follow to prevent the spread of the virus.

Missing clues

As a disease detective begins to build a case, solid contact information may well be missing. Most of the time, cases start with a lab result. Lab results are notorious for being very thin, lacking demographic data for the person being tested.

So right from the start, contact tracers can struggle to find key demographics, including the all-important phone number of the PUI so they can start the case.

Solving the case with the right data

Verato is uniquely situated to help fill in the gaps with the PUI’s contact information. Our reference database includes hundreds of million identities and over a billion phone numbers related to those identities. These capabilities give contact tracers important clues and speed up disease prevention.

Once a contact tracer is on the case and starts the detective work, they often need to track down relatives, known associates, coworkers, and even neighbors of the PUI. Here again, Verato and our data partners can help. Going well beyond the demographic data in our reference database, Verato can produce a contact tracer report based on extensive resources  from our trusted data sources. The report can include information about the PUI, their places of employment, members of their household, relatives, and other known associates. In most cases, phone numbers and other contact information will be available for all these associates.  All these data points become new clues for the disease detectives to follow.

Recruiting disease detectives and equipping them with the right data will be key to containing the virus and returning to a more normal way of life. Verato and our data partners can fill in the gaps in missing data and provide additional clues to speed up contact tracing, helping the national effort to knock out COVID-19 once and for all.

We’re ready to help healthcare organizations and departments of health quickly resolve patient identity issues and fight the spread of COVID-19. To learn how we can help, contact us today.

Photo credit: Unsplash