ST. LOUIS, MO (KMOV) — With tens of thousands of people getting tested for COVID-19 around St. Louis, some are questioning the process of getting results.
A St. Louis County man is claiming his sister and fiance received the wrong information after they were tested.
Both were tested at Total Access urgent care locations.
CEO Dr. Matt Bruckel said mistakes are extremely rare. Of the 36,000 tests the company has done , they are only aware of three data entry errors.
But Nathan, who asked News 4 not to use his last name, hopes his family’s story will convince others to double check their results.
“They just called me and said your sister is positive,” he said, recalling when his mother gave him the news.
Nathan said a few hours later, Total Access sent a conflicting message in the form of a text saying his sister was actually ‘negative,’ but that was after his family received a phone call from the Centers for Disease Control about the diagnosis.
“Basically all that fear and stress was for nothing,” he said. “It was a crazy situation.”
Nathan also claims his fiance was tested at a Total Access facility in Festus, and received this text message claiming she was ‘positive’ for COVID-19. Because of what happened with his sister, Nathan’s fiance called Total Access for confirmation.
“We called up there and they said ‘in our system, you’re negative that was a glitch. That text didn’t mean to go out,'” he said.
Bruckel said his facilities are testing upwards of 1,500 people a day. Because of the volume, a texting service sends the message, but that data is entered manually by a human being. He wants perfection, but understands humans occasionally make mistakes.
“It is possible they could enter the wrong answer the wrong result for a patient,” he said. “Whenever these things happen, we feel horrible. We are responsible. We want to make them right, do the right thing and fix it.”
With each text message, patients are given options to follow up. Nathan is thankful his family did.
“We have to understand how busy these companies are. They are overwhelmed, so I would just send a text back to talk to them if you’re positive. If you’re positive, there’s a chance some people are negative that are actually positive right now” he said.
Bruckel said if people get a diagnosis back that doesn’t fit their symptoms, for example a negative result but the keep getting sicker, make sure to call back and follow up.
He said his offices are always available to answer questions.
He also said many patients are now opting for the rapid test where results come back in 30 minutes, and that eliminates a potential incorrect text or phone message because it’s done in person.
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