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General Information

General Information, Test Utilization

Discontinuation of Custom Reflexes

Effective November 5, 2017, Spectrum Health Regional Laboratory will no longer be able to support custom reflex orders. Only reflexes that are defined in our Mandatory and Optional Reflex Testing list will be supported. These reflexes have been approved by our Pathologists, PhD’s and the Spectrum Health Medical Executive Committee. On November 5th, we will be undergoing a system change to Epic and with our new Laboratory Information System (LIS), custom requests for reflexes will not be available. Continue Reading

Microbiology, Test Utilization

Spectrum Health Regional Laboratory Discontinues Influenza Rapid Antigen Testing

There has been a minor change to the influenza testing methods performed by the Spectrum Health Regional Laboratory (SHRL) to improve the accuracy and timeliness of patient results, while simplifying the ordering process for providers. In past years during respiratory illness season, the lab performed influenza rapid antigen testing due to its low cost and rapid turnaround time, with negative specimens reflexed to PCR for confirmatory testing. Approximately 85% of specimens tested by a rapid antigen method typically reflexed, with those patients charged for performing both tests. Continue Reading

Blood Bank, Compliance & Safety

Blood Bank Specimens Require Two Signatures

Effective October 15th, 2017, all specimens collected for Blood Bank must have two signatures on the specimen written in ink that is resistant to smearing after a patient has been identified according to the Patient Identification Policy.

One of the two collectors/witnesses must be a lab staff member, unless specimen is collected in Spectrum Health Surgery, Infusion Center, Special Care Hospital, Cardiac Cath Lab Procedure Room, or a cord blood in Labor and Delivery. For Outpatients, the patient may serve as the witness and initial the tube label. Continue Reading

Microbiology, Referral/Sendouts, Test Utilization

New Test: Streptococcus pneumoniae Urine Antigen

As of July 11, 2017, Spectrum Health Regional Laboratory will offer Streptococcus pneumoniae urine antigen testing. This testing is currently sent to Mayo Medical Laboratories. By bringing testing in-house, result turnaround time will be improved by 1 day, testing will be available 7 days per week (instead of Monday – Friday), and testing can be offered at a reduced charge to our patients. Continue Reading