Rapid Antigen Testing for COVID-19

April 27, 2021 | Infection Prevention and Control

Innovation Idea Details

German-Canadian Care Home

Innovation Idea:
The use of rapid antigen tests to test staff and visitors for COVID-19.

What workplace hazard does this idea address?
Infection Prevention and Control

If other, please specify:
COVID,Rapid Test,Infection Prevention,COVID-19

How does your idea improve workplace health and safety?
The rapid antigen test alerts the organization to the risk of allowing someone who may be COVID-positive into the care home. Anyone showing a positive rapid test result will be denied entry, and will be asked to go for testing.

How did you implement this idea?
The clinical coordinator assumed the lead role. She connected with Vancouver Coastal Health regarding supplies, policies and training. The clinical coordinator trained two nurses (LPNs) to perform the test.

The rapid antigen test was offered two days a week, Mondays and Fridays, during shift change. Initially, the tests were performed in the staff change areas. When we offered the test to visitors we moved the testing equipment near the main entrance and screening point.

What has been the impact on workplace health and safety?
The rapid test offers an additional layer of protection to the staff screening process. It offers peace of mind to everyone living and working in our care home. It reduces stress and anxiety that arises from worrying about the risk of exposure or infection. It reinforces the importance of screening to staff and visitors and reduces the “COVID-fatigue”. It builds trust with families as this is viewed as a proactive step to resident and staff safety.

Participation in the testing has remained constant at about 26 staff and 3 visitors per week.

Cost & Resources

What was the initial set up cost?
Initial setup cost was minimal, training and supplies were provided by Vancouver Coastal Health free of charge. The training involved the clinical coordinator and two nurses, about 4 hours each.

What are the on-going costs?
Testing is offered twice a week at shift change. Staff time required is 1.5 hours per testing day. Clinical coordinator submits data on rapid testing to VCH, about 30 minutes each week.

Other staffing resources required:

Supporting Files & Links