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Microbiology, Test Utilization

Influenza Epidemic Testing Recommendations 2018

Influenza is currently widespread throughout the nation at epidemic proportions. During influenza epidemics, clinical assessment predicts the presence of influenza infection virtually as well as laboratory testing. Therefore, it is no longer necessary to perform viral testing on ambulatory patients who present with illness consistent with influenza before beginning antiviral treatment. Antiviral treatment for Influenza should be started as soon as possible to have a beneficial effect.

Shortages of supplies and medications frequently occur during Influenza epidemics. However, diagnosis of specific viral respiratory infection remains important for hospitalized patients.

Please follow the current recommendations:

  • Limit availability of viral transport media at ambulatory sites.
  • Emergency departments are to limit viral respiratory testing to patients expected to be admitted.
  • Do not perform testing for test of cure.

Thank you for your support during this time. Please direct any questions to Laboratory Services via the “contact us” link above.

Chemistry, Compliance & Safety, General Information

RESOLVED: Delay in TB Screen (QuantiFERON Gold) Results

As of 1/12/2018, the analyzer has been repaired and all specimens have been resulted.

The Dynex DS2 analyzer in the Chemistry department at Spectrum Health Regional Laboratory is currently down until Tuesday, January 2, 2018. Results for TB Screen (QuantiFERON Gold) on tests collected since December 21, 2017 will be delayed. Specimens are stable for 27 days, so the patient will not need to be recollected. We apologize for any inconvenience.

If you have further questions, please contact the Laboratory Call Center or use the “contact us” link above. This post will be updated when the analyzer is serviced.

Immunochemistry, Test Utilization

Test Utilization: Cardiolipin Antibody Testing

Listed below are the Cardiolipin Antibody tests available in the Spectrum Health Regional Laboratory (SHRL) catalog. Please review the tests and the recommended test utilities.

Cardiolipin IgA testing should not be ordered unless the patient is negative for IgM and IgG. It should be restricted to very specific clinical scenarios for the evaluation of patients with suspected APS (Antiphospholipid Antibody Syndrome). Cardiolipin IgA requests will be reviewed for presence or absence of IgM/IgG testing.

Questions may be directed to Dr. David Alter by using the contact us link above.

Compliance & Safety, General Information, Immunochemistry

Delay in ImmunoChemistry Results

Update 11/1/2017 – The analyzer is currently back up. Back-dated specimen processing will take up to 24 hours. Thank you for your patience during this time.

The BioPlex 2200 analyzer in the ImmunoChemistry department at Spectrum Health Regional Laboratory is currently down until Tuesday, October 31st, at the earliest. Results for HIV and Syphilis testing will be delayed. We apologize for any inconvenience.

If you have further questions, please contact the Laboratory Call Center or use the “contact us” link above.

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