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State changes COVID-19 test tracking companies
COVID-19 graphic

The California Department of Public Health and California Department of Technology have opted to go with a new company to track all the statewide COVID-19 data after technical issues with CalREDIE caused a significant backlog in reporting of cases in August.

OptumInsight, Inc. has been selected to develop the state’s new COVID-19 data reporting system and will collect, track and report COVID-19 cases, supplementing California’s current disease registry system known as CalREDIE.

“Throughout this pandemic, our public health decisions are guided by science and data and we recognize the need for innovative and modern tools to get in front of COVID-19,” said Sandra Shewry, CDPH Acting Director. “We are taking meaningful action to update how we collect, analyze and report COVID-19 data, which is central to our ongoing statewide response and the actions local public health directors take every day to protect the health and wellbeing of Californians.”

The new standalone COVID-19 data reporting system, which was procured competitively, is a software solution built to manage the large volume of data currently tracked as a result of the pandemic. It is designed to help improve the efficiency of the system that receives data from laboratories and local public health departments and prepares data for reporting and analysis. Having up-to-date data is key for the state and counties in determining when businesses and schools can re-open.

“This tool will result in measurable progress to the data quality, management and overall efficiency of reporting California’s COVID-19 lab results,” said California Chief Information Officer and CDT Director Amy Tong. “This system will reduce labor-intensive collection processes and minimize delays in reporting data so that public health experts across the state have swift access to the tools and data they need to prevent COVID-19 transmission and respond to new cases and outbreaks.”

OptumInsight, Inc. is a global company that provides data, software and services to health care companies and government agencies to optimize their operations. CDPH has signed a renewable, 6-month, $15.3 million contract with the company to develop the data tool using funding from the federal Epidemiology and Laboratory Capacity for Prevention and Control of Emerging Infectious Diseases grant. The first phase of the new system will be up and running in October.

“Optum is honored to support the State of California’s efforts to collect and report COVID-19 data and help stem the spread of the virus. We are mobilizing our proven health IT capabilities to standardize, analyze, and publish COVID-19 test results and to provide public health officials with the quality data they need to make critical decisions and support communities across the state,” said Robert Musslewhite, CEO of OptumInsight, the health care technology business of Optum.

In Stanislaus County, the number of COVID-19 cases has reached 14,786 with 810 currently presumed active, according to the Stanislaus County Health Services Agency. There have been 262 deaths.