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.
Respiratory Pathogens by FilmArray – Epic Code #LAB3359, Interface #11668, CPT #87633
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As of November 25th 2019 the following tests for Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV) IgM antibody testing will be obsoleted.
Herpes IgM Antibody Screen – LAB3576
Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV) Antibody Screen, IgM, by EIA, Serum – LAB3578
Herpes Simplex Panel – LAB1230539
Laboratory retention has been updated for the following tests. Laboratory retention outlines the length of time after testing that a specimen is kept in the laboratory before it is discarded.
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.
Clinical guidelines no longer recommend serologic testing as a method for the diagnosis of H. pylori infection. Rather than IgG serology testing, other non-invasive testing methods such as H. pylori stool antigen and urea breath tests may be used to both diagnose and monitor response to therapy for H. pylori infection. In anticipation of an increase in stool antigen testing, currently a reference lab send-out test, Spectrum Health Regional Laboratory (SHRL) will be implementing this test as of October 29, 2018. By offering this test in-house, results will typically be available one day faster than present state.
As of July 31, 2018, send out testing to Mayo Medical Laboratories for “Candida albicans Antibodies (IgG, IgA, IgM)” and “Candida Antigen Detection” will be discontinued.
To remain up to date with the scientific literature, microbiology must periodically update the official taxonomic nomenclature for organisms as published in the International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology (IJSEM). These updates also satisfy the laboratory’s accreditation checklist item MIC.11375 from the College of American Pathologists (CAP). Current organism classification is typically revised based on genetic relatedness among genera and species, as opposed to historical phenotypic biochemical characteristic studies.
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.
Effective November 5th, the following test order names will be modified. These changes have been made to enhance clarify regarding the testing performed. In all cases, prior Cerner names are set as aliases that direct to the new Epic order names.