Tracing Health

Debbie Hintz, Director of Data and Informatics – The Importance Of Reliable Technology To Fight COVID-19

July 24, 2021 | Thought Leadership

Debbie Hintz, Director of Data and Informatics – The Importance Of Reliable Technology To Fight COVID-19,

My name is Debbie Hintz, I’m the Director of Technical Operations for the Tracing Health program. My role at Tracing Health is the Director of Technical Operations. I oversee a team that developed a software system that allows us to do case investigations and contact tracing for COVID-19.

The main purpose of the software that was developed is to investigate the cases of positive COVID-19. To identify the individuals and to ask them to isolate so that they don’t spread COVID to other people and to identify the contacts that they came in contact with and ask them to quarantine.

The MARI Difference (Microbial Awareness Risk Investigation)

We created a system called MARI, and it’s an acronym for Microbial Awareness Risk Investigation. And what the beauty of the system is, is that a facility can send to us their lab results for COVID-19 positive cases. We get them within twenty-four hours. They get loaded into our data system, MARI and our staff are able to immediately contact those people. And it’s really critical that that happen within twenty-four hours of diagnosis.

Because of our system collecting data directly from the health facility and lab, we get language preferences, we get their address, we know where they live, we know what type of communities they’re in. So we’re at an advantage to being able to contact them more quickly and to get them to isolate. Which is the most critical part in helping to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Quick Pivot to Vaccine Support

But then when vaccines got released, they needed a new counties needed new support in helping to get people scheduled for their vaccine. In particular, people maybe who aren’t technology savvy or maybe the older generation or people where language might be an issue. So we have been able to pivot very quickly because of our agility here to be able to develop a support in call centers for counties, and we’re able to help them get those people scheduled for vaccines.

And that’s all due to the fact that the Tracing Health program is nimble and agile. We’re able to very quickly pivot when needed and we can bring expertise in very quickly.

At the end of the day, I want to know that we saved lives and we help those in the most vulnerable population.

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