October 29, 2020

Vanderbilt Health Employer Solutions launches asymptomatic COVID-19 testing service for area employers

Employers across the state can now provide asymptomatic COVID-19 testing for their workforce thanks to a new service from Vanderbilt Health Employer Solutions.

Employers across the state can now provide asymptomatic COVID-19 testing for their workforce thanks to a new service from Vanderbilt Health Employer Solutions.

The service was developed to help employers identify asymptomatic employees and enable important professional activities and vital business gatherings to move forward with this additional safeguard in place.

“We have received countless requests from employers who want an asymptomatic testing service from a health care partner like Vanderbilt Health because they trust us to provide much more than just the test,” said David Posch, Executive Vice President of Vanderbilt Health’s Office of Population Health. “This new service equips employers with another safety tool for their return-to-work toolbox at a critical time when everyone is looking for additional ways to operate their business responsibly amid the continued presence of COVID-19 in our communities.”

Vanderbilt Health clinicians can mobilize to employers’ desired location and conduct asymptomatic testing via an on-site event or a drive-through service. They can also choose to send their employees to a designated Vanderbilt Health clinic location to be tested. Asymptomatic COVID-19 testing can be bundled with flu vaccination or biometric screenings for added prevention and detection of other health issues.

During the test, Vanderbilt Health nurses collect nasal swabs from participants. This nasal sampling method is much less invasive than other sampling methods, such as the nasopharyngeal swab, which is sometimes called the “brain tickler.” As new testing methods become available, VUMC will evaluate them for efficacy and accuracy to determine if they will become part of this service.

PathGroup, locally based for more than 50 years and one of the largest private providers of laboratory services in the U.S., will handle the lab processing and results. The lab uses a PCR test to detect the genetic information of the virus. Results are consistently ready in under 48 hours and accessed through the secure MyResults patient portal.

“For those employees who test positive for COVID-19, we can step in to provide training on next steps and streamlined access to care, if needed,” said Brent McDonald, Senior Vice President of Employer Solutions. “Our clinicians are supported by VUMC’s internationally respected infectious disease professionals, the same experts who have been engaging with the Middle Tennessee employer community as well as contributing significant public health outreach and education throughout the pandemic.”

Asymptomatic COVID-19 testing service is for adults only and should not be used on anyone who is symptomatic. It is also not to be used if someone is seeking a negative test following a positive result or to end a period of quarantine after sustained exposure. Asymptomatic COVID-19 testing should never be used as a standalone strategy for a return-to-work program. Additional health and safety procedures need to be in place, such as masking, social distancing and daily symptom screenings, to reduce the likelihood of infection.