When sending specimens collected in the office, place the Epic/Epic Care Link Lab Orders orange slip in the bag with the specimens. You no longer need to print the Order Requisition out of Epic.
Education & Training
At this time when Influenza prevalence is not widespread in the community, please order “Influenza A/B PCR” [LAB3255] when testing is needed. This applies to patients at all Grand Rapids and regional hospitals, and also system wide ambulatory patients.
Effective immediately, QuantiFERON®-TB Gold test (QFT), the industry-leading Interferon-gamma Release Assay (IGRA) for TB detection used at Spectrum Health Regional Laboratory is being replaced by the QuantiFERON-TB Gold Plus (QFT-Plus).
The QFT-Plus is now optimized with innovative tuberculosis-specific antigens that elicit both CD8 and CD4 T cell responses, enabling a more comprehensive assessment of cell-mediated immune response to TB infection. The test principle, procedures, and specimen handling will remain the same with the one exception being that the collection kit will now consist of four tubes instead of three. Three-tube collections can no longer be accepted and will thus be canceled.
If you have three-tube collection kits, please order new four-tube collection kits in Lawson (#54909) or via the Lab Supply Order Form.
Please direct urgent questions to the Laboratory Call Center at 616-774-7721 or for non-urgent inquiries use the “contact us” link above.
Spectrum Health Regional Laboratory is not validated to perform Chlamydia and Gonococcus testing on pediatric patients under the age of 14 years old. Testing for these patients must be sent to a reference laboratory. Please order a Reference Miscellaneous Test (#LAB848) and indicate complete test name when ordering.
Effective November 5, 2017, Spectrum Health Regional Laboratory will be implementing the Paris System for reporting Urine Cytology.
Spectrum Health Regional Laboratory supplies purple priority bags for specimens that must be handled and processed immediately upon receipt in the laboratory. The purple color priority transport bag will be a visual cue to the receiving laboratory that the specimens inside the bag need to be handled or processed immediately at the time of arrival in the laboratory or the integrity of the specimen will be compromised.
Safety of our patient and quality of care are of utmost importance. For this reason we require specimens sent to the Spectrum Health Cytology Laboratory be labeled with at least two patient identifiers, (i.e., patient name, birth date and MRN.) We will no longer return to the collection site, unlabeled, mislabeled specimens lacking two patient identifiers or specimen containers with multiple different patient labels. These specimens will be discarded and repeat collection will be necessary.
Procedures to verify correct labeling of patient specimens at the time of collection are recommended. Specimen containers should not be pre-labeled. Variation of the “time-out” procedure used in the hospital and surgical center setting is an excellent way of confirming that the specimen is correctly labeled. This can easily be achieved by having the patient verify his or her name and birth date, by reading the label placed on the specimen container at the time the specimen is collected. This “time out” should occur before the specimen leaves the examination or treatment room.
It is our mission to provide the best and safest care we can to our patients. We know that physicians and other practitioners are required to see patients more efficiently and at times with less than adequate time allowed. Following a “time out” procedure and not pre-labeling specimen containers will prevent errors that may lead to diagnoses being assigned to wrong patients, hence, unnecessary procedures and lack of follow-up for the appropriate patient.
Leaky specimen containers may cause compromised test results and it is also a hazard to lab couriers and registration personnel. Please be sure to inform patients that leaky specimen containers are not acceptable and may be rejected.
In anticipation of “Flu season”, it is valuable to revisit available testing methods for influenza and discuss when each test should be ordered. Though generally a self-limited infection for otherwise healthy individuals, influenza can be particularly severe for high-risk populations including infants, elderly, pregnant women, and immunocompromised hosts. Influenza incidence is largely seasonal with the majority of cases occurring between December and April of each year.