Developing an Optimal COVID-19 Test Program: Strategies and Considerations for Success

Activity description
The public health risks of the COVID-19 pandemic continue to present great challenges for schools, businesses and other facilities nationwide, causing disruptions in continuity that negatively impact childhood education, the economy and the health and well-being of the public. This activity will identify pathways to creating effective, practical and sustainable testing strategies for COVID-19 that can accelerate a return to normalcy and allow schools and other facilities to remain open. It will relay to participants how determining the goal of testing is the key factor to establishing an optimal testing strategy through consideration of multiple factors, including test type, sensitivity and turnaround time as well as program implementation and costs. Current testing programs will be discussed, examining how the selection of these elements can be adapted to satisfy the needs of the target community as well as the testing program’s goals. The roles that communication and partnership can play in establishing effective strategies, enhancing safety, enabling improved implementation and shaping public policy will also be examined. 

Provided by
This activity is provided by OptumHealth Education and UnitedHealth Group, Research and Development.

Commercial support
No commercial support was received for this activity.
Required hardware/software
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Target Audience

This activity is designed to meet the educational needs of nurses, nurse practitioners, PAs, physicians, psychologists, social workers and other HCPs who are interested in identifying pathways to creating effective, practical and sustainable testing strategies for COVID-19.

Learning Objectives

At the end of this educational activity, participants should be able to:

  • Discuss the importance of determining the goal of testing when creating an optimal testing strategy and how the goal informs the selection of testing variables
  • Define the factors that influence testing strategies and recognize how they can shape the effectiveness and outcomes of the testing program
  • Describe methods to improve surveillance and testing program success, including pooled testing, predictive modeling and strategy simulation
  • Recognize how facilitating partnerships regarding testing strategies and programs can encourage cooperation, shape public policy, enable implementation on a larger scale and enhance safety and efficacy

Additional Information

Activity summary
Available credit: 
  • 1.00 ACPE - Pharmacists
  • 1.00 ACPE - Pharmacy Technicians
  • 1.00 AMA - Physicians
  • 1.00 ANCC - Nurses
  • 1.00 APA - Psychologists
  • 1.00 Attendance - General Attendance
  • 1.00 ASWB - Social Workers
Activity opens: 
Activity expires: 


Ethan M. Berke, MD, MPH
Chief Public Health Officer
UnitedHealth Group


About the presenter
Ethan M. Berke, MD, MPH, is the Chief Public Health Officer at UnitedHealth Group.  In this role, he oversees public health efforts for the organization including infectious disease, emergency preparedness, chronic illness prevention and health disparities. He previously served as the Chief Medical Officer, Population Health Solutions, and Vice President of Clinical Innovation at Optum, working to create payer, provider and health-system focused solutions that improve the care of patients in the context of their community. His work enabled payers and health systems to provide the highest quality care, at the lowest cost, with an exemplary patient and provider experience, no matter what payment system was utilized.

Prior to joining UnitedHealth Group, Dr. Berke served as Medical Director of Clinical Design and Innovation for Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health System (D-HHS), an academic health system in New Hampshire. Dr. Berke engaged in many operational initiatives and formed and led the primary care service line at D-HHS. In his primary care leadership role, he focused on innovation in the provider practice, specifically developing and implementing value-based compensation models for primary care physicians, an imbedded behavioral health clinician model and multidisciplinary team-based improvement projects to improve the patient experience.

Throughout his career, he has worked to innovate health care delivery and public health. He developed novel roles in the health care workforce using apprenticeship models and leveraged technology to improve the quality of care and transform health systems from reactionary high-cost care models to a proactive, high-value models focused on health. At Dartmouth, he was the Principal Investigator for the CDC Prevention Research Center. Dr. Berke has consistently and creatively crafted and leveraged powerful cross-disciplinary and cross-industry partnerships. He regularly contributes to the national health policy discussion pertaining to social determinants of health, health transformation and consumerism in health and has also contributed to health legislation.

He completed a BS degree in statistics at the University of Vermont, an MD degree at Albany Medical College, a residency in Family Medicine at the University of Washington and a Master's in Public Health in Epidemiology at the University of Washington. He was also a National Health Service Corps Scholar serving in a Federally Qualified Health Center in Massachusetts. He is internationally known for his work in mobile health (mHealth) and remote medical sensing, and he has researched the built environment to better understand how habitat and behavior affect individual and public health.  

Dr. Berke and his wife have 2 daughters, ages 14 and 16. They enjoy travel and many outdoor activities, including skiing and kayaking. 

Activity planners
Sarah Chart, RN
Vice President
OptumHealth Education

Rebecca Gleason, RN, CCM
Activity Manager
OptumHealth Education

Disclosures of relevant financial relationships
In accordance with the ACCME Standards for Commercial SupportSM, OptumHealth Education (OHE) requires all those involved in the development of activity content to disclose their relevant financial relationships. An individual has a relevant financial relationship if such person (or his/her spouse/partner) has a financial relationship in any amount occurring in the last 12 months with a commercial interest. OHE ensures that the content is independent of commercial bias.

The activity faculty or planners have no financial relationships to disclose.

Method for calculating CE credit
CE credit was calculated by the complexity of content.

Accreditation statement
Joint Provider LogoIn support of improving patient care, this activity has been planned and implemented by OptumHealth Education and UnitedHealth Group. OptumHealth Education is jointly accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), to provide continuing education for the health care team.

Credit designation statements
Interprofessional CEThis activity was planned by and for the health care team, and learners will receive 1.00 Interprofessional Continuing Education (IPCE) credits for learning and change.

The participant will be awarded up to 1.00 contact hour(s) of credit for attendance and completion of supplemental materials.

Nurse practitioners
The American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Certification Program (AANPCP) accepts credit from organizations accredited by the ACCME and ANCC.

Pharmacists/Pharmacy technicians
This activity is approved for 1.00 contact hour ([0.10] CEU) in states that recognize ACPE.
Attending the full program will earn 1.00 contact hour.
Unique Activity Number(s): JA0007123-9999-21-299-H04-P/T

OptumHealth Education designates this enduring activity for a maximum of 1.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s). Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

The American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) accepts credit from organizations accredited by the ACCME.

OptumHealth Education is approved by the American Psychological Association (APA) to offer continuing education for psychologists. OptumHealth Education maintains responsibility for this program. 1.00 CE hour.

Social workers
ACE LogoAs a Jointly Accredited Organization, OptumHealth Education is approved to offer social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. Organizations, not individual courses, are approved under this program. State and provincial regulatory boards have the final authority to determine whether an individual course may be accepted for continuing education credit. OptumHealth Education maintains responsibility for this course. Social workers completing this course receive 1.00 enduring continuing education credits.

A certificate of attendance will be provided to learners upon completion of activity requirements, enabling participants to register with licensing boards or associations that have not been preapproved for credits. To apply for credit types not listed above, participants should use the procedure established by the specific organization from which they wish to obtain credit.

Available Credit

  • 1.00 ACPE - Pharmacists
  • 1.00 ACPE - Pharmacy Technicians
  • 1.00 AMA - Physicians
  • 1.00 ANCC - Nurses
  • 1.00 APA - Psychologists
  • 1.00 Attendance - General Attendance
  • 1.00 ASWB - Social Workers
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