Providing Los Angeles County a Real-time COVID-19 Testing Availability Application
In Spring 2017, through a partnership with Los Angeles County Department of Health Services (LADHS), Alluma’s community information and resource referral platform One Degree was implemented in Los Angeles County – the most populous county in the country with over 10 million residents. Working collaboratively with the LADHS Whole Person Care Initiative, One Degree provides a resource and referral technology solution for all members of the public, community-based organizations (CBOs), and government staff throughout the county’s 37 departments and numerous hospitals and clinics.
The One Degree platform maintains LA County’s most comprehensive resource directory of nonprofit services to address social determinants of health (SDoH). Today, One Degree is the go-to platform for low-income individuals as well as social work and clinical professionals to access nonprofit and social services not only throughout Los Angeles County, but also the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area and other communities around the country. Every month, over 40,000 people rely on One Degree to access vital resources.
In July 2020, LA County requested our help in managing and disseminating information about COVID-19 testing sites to residents, which heretofore had been utilizing a static list and confusing map on their website. Because this list of sites also lacked any real-time availability information, testing site managers – already stretched thin by the pandemic – were being overwhelmed with calls and appointment requests despite limited availability. Meanwhile, residents were forced to call or click through to site after site, and struggled to find ones with availability, likely leading some residents to stop trying.
By utilizing its existing information and referral platform infrastructure, One Degree was able to quickly launch a modern, human-centered testing site locator tool and an administrative application for LA County within just three weeks to meet the urgent need. This enables individuals to easily find currently available testing sites, gives testing site managers the ability to update their site’s availability in real time, and provides administrative access for county staff to add and update sites as needed.
Today, residents can easily find an available testing site by using filters, such as search location, availability on certain days, and other attributes, including whether or not a site is restricted to walk-ups or drive-ups. Residents can read more about each testing site, get directions via Google Maps, or make an appointment.
The testing site locator tool was quickly adopted by county residents, site managers, county administrators, and staff of CBOs throughout the community. Every day, managers at dozens of testing providers across the county update their own availability.
One Degree followed its same human-centered design best practices to ensure the tool would be user-friendly and easy for all residents to navigate. Angelenos now have one, simple place to go when needing to find an available COVID-19 testing site. As of December 2020, over 1.7 million residents have used the tool to make over 2.9 million searches for testing sites since its launch in August 2020. Around 50,000 residents use the tool every day and 67% visit on a smartphone.
Thanks to the testing site locator tool’s modern and flexible design, in addition to Los Angeles County embedding it on its COVID-19 website (covid19.lacounty.gov/testing), the City of Los Angeles (corona-virus.la) and at least one county supervisor has also embedded the map on their own websites, providing even easier access to testing for all residents, no matter their entry point.