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Sample Tracking and Lab Testing Application Demo Video (please click image below)

About the Sample Tracking and Lab Testing Application

Download the CommCare Application

The Sample Tracking and Lab Testing application is available to be imported directly into your CommCare project space, along with all free COVID-19 template applications, in this library: https://www.commcarehq.org/covid19. The application is available in English.

Application Version History:

  • June 10, 2020: First version released
  • June 15, 2020: Patient Unique Case ID changed from numeric to alpha-numeric entry

Application Overview

The Sample Tracking and Lab Testing App supports healthcare systems to streamline sample management between healthcare facility and lab settings and to triage test results.

The application provides the following functionalities:

  • Registering patients and samples

  • Registering results to each sample

  • Viewing history of lab test results for each patient

  • Notifying provider of new lab results that have become available

  • Notifying provider to collect a new sample, in the case of an invalid or inconclusive test result, or if a sample was rejected

  • Guidance on the correct method for collecting samples, using short videos* to reinforce training, or to train health workers who have received minimal training.

*This educational video content is provided courtesy of DigitalMedic, an initiative of Stanford University Center for Health Education.

Application Details

Application Workflow

The application content is based on the WHO interim guidance for laboratory testing for COVID-19. Expand the box below for a high-level diagram of the CommCare application workflow.

Description of Forms in CommCare

Expand the box below for a table that breaks down the role of each form in the CommCare application, including: 

  • Form Name 

  • Form Purpose

  • Summary of content

Form names & content

Form Name

Form purpose

Summary of content

Register New Patient

Add a new patient (covid_19_case) to the application

This form is filled out once per patient to register them into the application.  It is a short form capturing critical information to identify and contact the individual.

Patient basic information

Patient contact information

Patient unique case ID

[optional] Register Sample

[optional] Register Test Result

Edit Patient Information

Edit information of selected patient

This form is to be filled out only if the critical information in the Register New Patient form was entered incorrectly or has changed.

Patient basic information

Patient contact information

Patient unique case ID

Register Sample

Add a new sample for selected patient

This form is filled out for every sample that is collected from the selected patient. By submitting the form it is automatically ‘pushed’ to the Register Test Results section. By the time the physical sample arrives at the lab, the lab technicians or staff will already have the record of it in the application.

This form allows for a barcode or QR code to be attached to the sample for faster identification in subsequent parts of the app.

Sample information

Sample ID

Sample barcode

[optional] Register Test Result

Register Test Result

Add the lab test result for the selected sample

This form is filled out once per sample to register the test result for the selected sample. The lab technician or staff can also use this form to reject a sample and ask for a new sample to be taken for the patient this sample belongs to. 

Information about the patient is kept to a minimum (Last Name and Unique ID only) for privacy purposes.

Test Result information

View Test Results

Used to view and process lab test results

This form allows providers to view all information associated with each sample collected. It is used to mark whether the test result has been recorded in the patient file (if applicable) and whether the patient has been informed of their test result (if applicable). 

Triage the test result, by indicating whether it was recorded in patient file, and whether the patient was informed of their test result (if applicable)

Icons in Case List

The application makes use of Icons in the Case List. These icons provide health workers with a visual indication of the status of each patient and each individual sample. The status also determines how the case list is sorted. Patients with new results are shown at the top of the list along with patients who require a new sample taken. Once a patient’s test result is viewed, it drops further down the list in terms of priority. Expand the box below for further information on the icons used in the application. 

Description of Icons

Icon in Case List


Action to take

Test results pending


Sample rejected

Collect new sample from patient

New test result available

View and process test result (i.e. record and inform patient, if applicable)

Test result viewed, not processed

View and process test result (i.e. record and inform patient, if applicable)

Test result viewed AND processed


New test result available (inconclusive or Invalid)

View test result; collect new sample from patient

Test result viewed (inconclusive or Invalid)

Collect new sample from patient

Tested positive for COVID-19


Tested negative for COVID-19


App Case Types and Relationships


This application was designed to integrate seamlessly with programs following the WHO First Few X (FFX) Cases protocol so the case structure mimics that of the COVID-19 Template app. To learn more about configuring case sharing or case assignment workflows, you can refer to our documentation on Case Sharing Using OrganizationsThe Sample Tracking and Lab Testing app will be useful by itself, though organizations can get additional benefit by using multiple COVID-19 apps together. 

Case Structure

Like many CommCare applications, this application uses case management to keep track of progress of various points of interest. To learn more about the case types and relationships, please review your application's case summary.

This application makes use of two case types: covid_19_case and sample. The covid_19_case represents the ‘patient’, both suspected and confirmed cases. The sample case is the child case of covid_19_case case. A covid_19_case (patient) case can have multiple sample cases. These case types can be re-configured to fit into an existing structure if needed.

Additional Features

The application allows for additional possibilities for more experienced app builders, such as:

  • Case Sharing

    • To allow one lab to process samples collected from multiple health facilities

  • Enable automated SMS to, for example:

    • Notify provider of positive test result

    • Notify provider to collect new sample from patient

    • Notify patient of test result

    • Notify patient to return to health facility for another sample collection

    • Reminders for facilities to collect new samples in the case of e.g. rejected samples, in case of delays, saving supervision time

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