On April 20, 2022, reporting requirements changed. Please review the Point-of-Care Reporting Requirements section below for the latest information.
- Point-of-Care Testing Facilities
- Point-of-Care Reporting Requirements
- Over-the-Counter Tests (Self-Tests)
- How to Report POC Testing Results
Point-of-Care Testing Facilities
Facilities doing point-of-care (POC) testing for COVID-19 must report COVID-19 testing results to the Washington State Department of Health (DOH).
What is a POC Testing Facility?
A POC testing facility is one that uses point-of-care (POC) tests, such as rapid screening tests for COVID-19. This type of test provides results within minutes of the test being taken, which allows for quick decisions about patient care. POC testing facilities may include facilities that are not traditionally health or clinic settings, such as long-term care facilities, schools, or correctional facilities.
- K-12 schools using POC tests should review the guidance for reporting results.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides:
- Guidance on the regulatory requirements for SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) POC testing.
- How to use POC tests safely.
- Information on reporting POC test results.
View CDC's Guidance for SARS-CoV-2 Point-of-Care Testing for more information.
Point-of-Care Reporting Requirements
POC testing facilities must report COVID-19 test results because of Washington state law:
- Washington Administrative Code WAC 246-101-101 requires laboratories to report positive COVID-19 results to public health within 24 hours of the test. This reporting requirement applies to all facilities using POC or rapid diagnostic tests for COVID-19.
- The Washington State Board of Health’s rule, WAC 246-101-011 requires additional data elements that must be reported, including complete demographic data aligned with new federal requirements from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.
- On April 20, 2022, WAC 246-101-017 was revised. In summary, POC sites, which are licensed to conduct waived tests under a certificate of waiver, are required to report only positive test results from molecular (PCR) and antigen (rapid) tests. Ask on Order Entry questions, such as symptoms or whether it was the patient’s first test, are no longer required to be reported.
POC testing facilities must continue to submit the following for each patient: complete address, phone number, race, and ethnicity. This information is very important for case investigation and surveillance work.
Over-the-Counter Tests (Self-Tests)
Over-the-counter tests (OTC or self-tests) are performed and interpreted by the individual. Facilities that provide or recommend OTC tests should review the Interim SARS-CoV-2 Self-Testing Guidance for Establishments (PDF).
In summary, when a facility administers OTC tests (instead of the patient performing and interpreting the test), the facility should have a Medical Test Site (MTS)/ Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) certificate of waiver because the test is considered a POC test, and should be reported to public health as explained in the reporting requirements above.
Facilities providing OTC tests for individuals to perform independently are not required to report results to public health. The facility should encourage the individual to follow the DOH guidance for use of self-tests and the guidance on next steps after testing positive. Facilities should continue to notify their local health jurisdiction (LHJ) of suspected COVID-19 outbreaks.
How to Report POC Testing Results
Electronic Laboratory Reporting (ELR)
If your facility currently reports test results to DOH via ELR, then you should use this method to report positive POC test results. Learn more about ELR. While your facility is onboarding to ELR, you will also need to report manually as described below.
National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN)
If your facility has access to the NHSN, DOH strongly encourages you to report through NHSN's COVID-19 Module. To use this system, NHSN users need to upgrade their NHSN Secure Access Management Service (SAMS) from Level 1 to Level 3.
- Facilities can email email@example.com with the subject line “Enhancing Data Security” to begin upgrading their SAMS access.
- While your facility is onboarding to the NHSN COVID-19 Module, you will also need to report results manually as described in the Report Form below.
- Once your facility has access and is submitting results to the NHSN COVID-19 Module, you do not need to also report results manually to DOH.
- If you need assistance with reporting to NHSN, please contact HAI-COVID@doh.wa.gov. More information about testing in long-term care facilities is available.
For CLIA waived facilities who cannot report via ELR or NHSN, we recommend using SimpleReport. SimpleReport is a free, web-based application from the CDC to help facilities report their COVID-19 POC test results to public health. This reduces manual data entry and ensures the submission of high-quality data to public health.
There are two methods for entering results in SimpleReport. The first method is to manually enter each result. The other option is to use the bulk upload feature. The bulk upload option allows users to report results using a CSV file. Users will have access to a spreadsheet provided by CDC that is formatted to meet the data reporting requirements for state and local health departments.
The CDC bulk results upload guide includes a video tutorial, data formatting guide, and step-by-step instructions for preparing and uploading a spreadsheet. To learn more and get started, please review the videos and resources below.
SimpleReport Training Video (YouTube)
SimpleReport Training Video - Spanish (YouTube)
For more information, please see the SimpleReport user guide, the bulk results upload guide, and additional training materials. For questions about this reporting method or for help signing up, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
If your facility is only reporting a few positive test results at a time, you may use the Report Form (PDF) | Spanish.
Information about the Report Form:
- Complete this form electronically if possible. If you fill out the form by hand, please do so completely and write clearly.
- A helpful description of each field is provided starting on the second page.
- Facilities only need to report results from now into the future (prospectively) and do not need to send any past (retrospective) results that were already reported to DOH or LHJ through other methods. Facilities do not need to report to both the LHJ and DOH.
Send results by secure email to CDSDataSupport@doh.wa.gov or fax to 206-512-2126. Or scan and send completed forms through a secure managed file transfer (MFT). Contact email@example.com to set up MFT.
If you have a general question about POC test reporting or need support, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.