Rocket Mortgage Technology Team Creates Open-Source COVID-19 Mass Testing Platform
By David Juan, Director of Engineering, Quicken Loans
In March, Quicken Loans and Rock Connections partnered with the city of Detroit to set up and facilitate drive-through testing for COVID-19 through the Coronavirus Community Care Network. Now, we’re sharing the technology, processes and infrastructure we created with the hope that other cities and counties can leverage them to establish and facilitate their own drive-through testing site. We’ve packaged together everything we’ve created on GitHub for anyone who is looking to stand up a drive-through testing site of their own.
What We Built
The solution we’ve created is unique in a few ways.
First, it allows entire populations to be scheduled and tested efficiently, without creating long wait times. On our soft launch, we were able to schedule and facilitate 200 tests in the first day. Within a few days, we were up to 400 per day, and after a week we had ramped up to 800. Now, we’re testing more than 1,000 people daily and have scheduled more than 20,000 tests in total. The scalability of this solution comes from both the call center process as well as the design of the scheduling software, which can handle the scheduling of hundreds of appointments daily.
Second, while other testing sites have technological barriers, such as installing mobile apps or logging onto a scheduling site, our solution removes barriers for those who may not have access to those resources or may have challenges with technology.
The process starts with a person calling into the hotline and speaking to a call center representative, who uses the scheduling software to schedule an appointment. The software handles the logistics around capacity and hours of operations, while also managing time blocks that are held for specific groups, such as first responders. The software also facilitates sending data to the Health Department and testing lab, as well as the printing of all documentation needed for the appointments, including barcode labels for samples, patient summary sheets and daily schedules for on-site medical staff.
What We’re Sharing
To help others leverage what we’ve built, we’re sharing everything from the scheduling technology to the scripts our call center representatives use when scheduling appointments. This includes multiple runbooks that give step-by-step instructions for every part of the process. Here’s a breakdown of everything we’re making open source:
This runbook will give you a high-level overview of the drive-through testing process, from end to end.
Scripts for the call center representatives to use in their conversations with patients, caregivers and employers calling to inquire about testing
Documentation on the administration of the scheduling system
A step-by-step guide and staffing plan for onsite workers to check in patients, direct traffic and facilitate tests.
An overview of the data orchestration process and how data flows from the call center to all the various places it’s required, such as the testing site, the Information Health Network and the testing lab.
How We Built This in Five Days
In mid-March, Detroit had access to enough tests to stand up a new drive-through testing site, but there were a lot of questions to answer:
How do people know if they can get a test? How do the appointments get scheduled and where do they occur? How do you manage the flow of traffic and keep people safe as they show up for testing? How does patient information flow from the patient or caregiver to the testing site staff, to the testing lab and then back to the patient to deliver the results?
The testing lab and local hospitals didn’t have capacity to handle the logistics and infrastructure to get the tests to the right people, so Quicken Loans and Rock Connections offered to help.
Our Technology team at Quicken Loans decided to dedicate part of the Brand Marketing team that I lead to build a scheduling platform, which would handle not only the scheduling, but also data orchestration and printing of critical documents. Rock Connections was also able to provide call center support to help patients and caregivers schedule tests.
On a Friday evening, our team laid out a plan to accomplish this in 10 days. By the next morning, as we started to engineer the solution, it became clear that the need was more urgent, and the city asked if we could have testing ready to go in five days.
Focusing on creating a minimum viable product to roll out the solution as quickly as possible, we fell into the patterns we’re familiar with and leveraged accelerators we knew would help. We started with an open-source scheduling tool that got us nearly 50 percent of the way there. Then, using the Scrum methodology, we broke the development down into one-day sprints and committed to delivering working software within each sprint. We had working software by the end of the first day, and every day after that we continued to iterate.
Our DevOps practices also proved to be a huge asset. The infrastructure as code that we had already been leveraging for some time was a huge advantage to get all the security, monitoring and alerting set up. The investment in the automation of our container builds and everything around the environments allowed us to move with speed for each deployment, which were happening multiple times per day.
On top of the technology accelerators, we were able to get this rolled out so quickly in large part due to the sense of urgency of the development team, as well as our partners and stakeholders.
Everyone on the Brand Marketing team felt like this was something that allowed Quicken Loans and Rock Connections to take back control and help in a time when we can all feel a bit helpless. The team worked around the clock for those five days and have continued to work around the clock to support and iterate. I want to call out this team by name to thank them for their incredible work on this:
· Abhishek Singh, Systems Architect
· David Negron, Product Owner
· Brian Wilson, Scrum Master
· Tony Pagaduan, Software Engineer
· Matt Mastej, Software Engineer
· Chris Raheb, Senior Software Engineer
· Janina Phillips, Senior User Interface Engineer
This group’s sense of urgency was more than matched by our stakeholders and partners in the local government, including Mayor of Detroit Mike Duggan, the city’s Chief Information Officer Beth Niblock, the Health Department and everyone we interacted with representing the city. They were all available around the clock and had zero decision latency.
Overall, the biggest key to our success in launching this quickly was the dedication and hard work of the development team, our partners at Rock Connections and in the city of Detroit.
Now, we hope that other cities and counties can leverage what we built.
If you have any questions, please reach out to MassTestingPlatform@QuickenLoans.com.
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These opinions are those of the author. Unless noted otherwise in this post, Quicken Loans is not affiliated with, nor is it endorsed by any of the companies mentioned. All trademarks and other intellectual property used or displayed are the ownership of their respective owners. This article is © 2020 Quicken Loans.