COVID-19 Testing Programme is Getting Cayman Closer to Reopening
Cayman Enterprise City (CEC) special economic zone community member Dr. Frank Koentgen PhD of Rhetus International SEZC and Joanne Deys, part of the Ozgene group, have been granted special permission to assist CTMH Doctors Hospital with an extensive COVID-19 testing programme in the Cayman Islands. After successfully establishing a robust system and with substantial COVID-19 testing well underway, we wanted to touch-base with Dr. Koentgen and Deys for an update and to learn more.
CEC: Do you have any new data that you can share? Are you seeing any trends?
Dr Koentgen: At this point in time we have tested 555 patients out of which we identified three (3) patients or 0.5% as positive for COVID-19. This is very promising. Demonstrating that the measures Cayman has put in place are working well.
CEC: What is the current turnaround time, from testing to result and ultimately notifying the Cayman Islands Health Services Authority (HSA)?
Dr Koentgen: Our COVID-19 Facility at Doctors Hospital performs the COVID-19 tests, notifies patients and reports to HSA within 2.5hrs after receiving the swab specimen. Swabs received in the evening will get processed in the morning. We are continuing to improve our processes and minimise timelines while at the same time scaling our capacity. The turnaround time target is 90 min.
CEC: What enables CTHM Doctors Hospital to offer rapid turn around times and why is this so important?
Dr Koentgen: The rapid turnaround time is based on our Lean and Organisation Capability systems Joanne and I have built over the years. It’s based on the Toyota car manufacturing. A constant outlook for removing time, waste, costs and ever-increasing quality. The aim being to get back with the result for our people in Cayman and remove the anxiety associated with the test.
CEC: There must be a hundred and one moving parts when it comes to logistics. What’s is the key to ensuring that everything runs like clockwork?
Deys: Yes, there are many moving parts - different suppliers and different materials, of which the most important materials are considered dangerous goods. So, logistics is a challenge, to say the least because of shipping internationally. Execution repeatability, good forecasting, and defined tested flow paths for the various types of shipment requirements (IE: DG) will keep risk low and supply chain running smoothly.
CEC: You both have jumped in to leveraging your technical knowledge, experience, leadership skills, and global networks to assist CTMH Doctors Hospital and our wider community during the COVID-19 outbreak and we can’t thank you enough.
How are you juggling this project while managing your global business(es) at the same time?
Deys: Well we are fortunate to have a great global team, that stays connected. We touch base on a daily manner to review status and developments, and well as discuss any potential issues that might arise. Through this global crisis, we are on target to maintain the 25% growth in our business that we accomplished last year.
CEC: Has this experience changed your outlook or your Cayman Islands experience in anyway?
Deys: Working with Caymanians has been a great experience. When there is alignment, the team can rally and move mountains. To do what we know many thought was not possible: from scratch, build a capable new lab, train on new equipment, processes, and systems and demonstrate that capability in 2 ½ weeks shows capability and commitment to learn. This experience gives us a good base in understanding the landscape of Cayman.
CEC: Is there anything else you would like to add?
Dr Koentgen: We sincerely hope to help Cayman to get back to a more normal life as soon as possible. I think if we can get the turnaround times down to 90min we can screen people at the airport coming and going. Airport screening is already undertaking in Vienna, Austria for example.