Streamline Verify, an OIG exclusion screening software company stepped up to the plate to sponsor antibody testing and plasma drives since the world was struck by the coronavirus. This private corporation that focuses on streamlining the way healthcare affiliated companies do exclusion screening checks for hospitals, nursing homes, dialysis centers, assisted living facilities and more was called upon by Bikur Cholim, a Jewish social service agency in Lakewood, NJ to save lives when thousands were dying of COVID-19 in the New York tri-state area.
Streamline Verify was asked to sponsor these tests and drives because they are known as leaders in the healthcare arena and had the skills to facilitate this Antibody Everybody initiative. When thousands were dying last spring, the Mayo Clinic reached out to the social service agency to have people in their area tested to see if they had antibodies to COVID-19. They knew how to reach the community but needed additional financial resources and that is when they turned to Streamline Verify. First, approximately 12,000 people who had been infected with COVID-19 had to complete detailed surveys about their symptoms. Approximately 6500 of those who took the survey were then called upon to be checked to see if they had antibodies.
The next step were plasma drives. Working with CPI, COVID Plasma Initiative, who is affiliated with blood banks all across the nation, Streamline Verify turned 7000 square feet of their corporate offices in Lakewood, NJ into a field hospital so that people who had antibodies could come in to donate plasma. In fact, they hosted the largest collection of COVID-19 plasma in the U.S. to date and 1000 lifesaving plasma units were collected which can be used to save 1000 individuals.
At the moment there is no vaccine and no known cure for this illness. Plasma has shown promise when other treatments have failed for people who are very ill.
Previously plasma donors had to travel as far as Delaware from the tri-state New York area. However, by turning their offices in New Jersey into a plasma collection center, a larger number of donors were obtained than there would have been if they had to travel far from their home.
The blood samples that were originally taken, in conjunction with the surveys that were completed, will generate findings that will soon be reported in peer-reviewed scientific publications to benefit medical science for generations to come.
When the press learned of this story about Streamline Verify and the kind donors who were also stepping up to the plate, they were eager to cover the story. Everyone from TODAY to local cable channels to major New York area networks covered the story. Among them were Pix11, CBS and ABC.
Unfortunately, this pandemic is far from over. However, if more private companies come forward to assist those in need it will be easier for all of us to get through this crisis.