Education & Training, General Information, Referral/Sendouts

3/25/2020: Covid-19 Information

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Providers, clinical staff and non-clinical staff: 

With the national shortage of collection kits for COVID-19 Spectrum Health is looking to you to see if you have ESwabs or UTM collection kits in your office. These kits are critical to help our community test the most at risk patients. Please, if you have this inventory please contact the Spectrum Health call center at 616-774-7721 or send swabs with your courier.


Preferred Collection: Link: Nasopharyngeal Collection

Not acceptable collection supplies:

• Cotton swabs

• Calcium alginate swabs

• Wood shaft swabs

Providers: COVID-19 testing criteria:

In an effort to ensure that suspected COVID-19 patients with the highest risk are tested, these new criteria for ordering tests apply for patients with COVID-19 symptoms:

Those with fever/cough AND

  • Patients hospitalized with severe lower respiratory illness
  • Pregnant women in the third trimester or in active labor
  • Severely immunocompromised
  • Health care and public service workers
  • Patients living in communal environments such as prisons, shelters and nursing facilities

Providers: If you have a patient that you suspect to have the Coronavirus (COVID-19) please follow these instructions:

Spectrum Health and SHMG providers, please check InSite for any information specific to Spectrum Health.

In order to protect offices from exposure to COVID-19 and to maintain testing supplies, we ask are asking offices to not order any COVID-19 testing. Please direct patients who may need screening/testing to the SH Now COVID-19 Free Screening Hotline at 833-559-0659. Any patient requiring testing will then be scheduled for drive through testing. If patients are having severe or life-threatening symptoms, please call 911.

Outpatient Draw Site Hours:

Outpatient draw site hours and availability may have changed. Please refer to Find-A-Doc for more information.

Continue Reading

General Information, Microbiology

Testing Delay: Respiratory FilmArray Supply Shortage

Respiratory FilmArray testing supplies are currently unavailable, with a tentative shipment expected on Thursday, March 26, 2020. This reagent shortage is due to a both a surge in testing and last week’s earthquake in Salt Lake City where these reagents are manufactured. FilmArray testing is no longer required prior to COVID-19 testing, though FilmArray may be considered to guide isolation precautions, especially when COVID-19 testing is negative. Until FilmArray reagents are available, Influenza PCR may be considered.


Test Information

Respiratory Pathogens by FilmArray – Epic Code #LAB3359, Interface #11668, CPT #87633

General Information, Immunochemistry

RESOLVED: Testing Delay: Chlamydia and Gonococcus PCR (Abbott Multicollect)

As of 11:15 AM, Tuesday, March 24th, the instrument has been repaired. Please direct questions to the “contact us” link above. This post will be retired on Friday, March 27th.

Abbott multi-collect Chlamydia and Gonococcus PCR testing will be delayed until Tuesday, March 24, 2020 due to instrument downtime. Vendor assistance has been requested but is delayed due to the current Covid-19 situation. 

The following tests are affected: Continue Reading

Advanced Technology Laboratory, Cytogenetics, General Information, Referral/Sendouts

Test Update: Chromosome Analysis Breakage Study

Effective immediately, due to low test utilization and the high cost of maintaining proficiency, the Chromosome Analysis Breakage Study will no longer be offered by the Spectrum Health Cytogenetics Department.

If need arises for this test, please place an order for a Reference Miscellaneous (EPIC# LAB848) and enter “Test 140 DEB Breakage Study to Integrated Genetics” in the comments.  The testing will be sent out through Spectrum Health Referrals Department to Integrated Genetics. Continue Reading

General Information, Immunochemistry

RESOLVED: Testing Delay: Epstein Barr (EBV) IgM

As of 15:00 March 24th, this has been resolved. If you have any questions please use the “contact us” link above.

Testing for EBV IgM is delayed due to the backorder of reagents.  All submitted specimens will be frozen and stored until the reagents are available with an ETA of March 24th. 

If immediate assistance is needed please contact Katie Turner, PhD, or Immunochemistry using the “contact us” link above.

Test Information:
Epstein-Barr VCA (EBV) IgM Acute Antibody  – Epic Code #LAB769, Interface Order Code #10367, CPT: #86665


New Test: Thrombin Time

Effective March 4th, 2020, Thrombin Time will change from a sendout reference test performed by Mayo Clinic Laboratories to an in-house test performed by Spectrum Health Regional Laboratory. This test will be performed in the Coagulation Laboratory and will include a new reference range (please see link in Test Information below).

Thrombin Time is suitable for monitoring fibrinolysis therapy, screening for disorders of fibrin formation and in cases of suspected fibrinogen deficiency states. It is also useful for the differentiation between a heparin induced prolongation of the thrombin time and fibrin formation disorders.

For questions around this test, please contact the Coagulation Department at 616-267-2740.


Thrombin Time – Epic Code: #LAB11230581, Interface Code: #11230581, CPT: #85670


Updated Fecal Calprotectin Testing

As of February 12, 2020 testing for fecal calprotectin will be brought in-house.

As result Calprotectin, Feces (LAB3290) will be replaced with Calprotectin, Feces (LAB1230580).

Please note the following differences between the new and previous test in terms of specimen requirements and reference ranges.

Questions may be directed to the Toxicology Laboratory using the “Contact Us” link above.

Compliance & Safety, General Information

Reminder: Winter Lock Box

march-winter-lockboxTo maintain optimal specimen integrity, Spectrum Health Laboratory requests that you load your outdoor lock box properly for winter weather temperatures. Please follow the diagram on the right to prevent freezing of specimens.

Frozen specimen should never be left in the lock box for after-hours pickup. These tests may be better preserved in the office freezer until the next day’s courier pickup.

Request for specimen pickup should be made to the Laboratory Call Center at 616.774.7721.

Supplies may be ordered using the Supply Order Form.