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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

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, Referral/Sendouts, Test Spotlight

Eastern Equine Encephalitis Testing Options

Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) testing is available to be ordered individually on serum or CSF. A panel for multiple Arboviruses is also available on both serum and CSF. Both tests are sent to Mayo Clinical Laboratories.  Please order “Reference Lab Send Out for Miscellaneous Tests” for each test ordered and indicate test name in the required order field. Continue Reading

Chemistry, Compliance & Safety, Education & Training, General Information, Referral/Sendouts

Preservative For 24 Hour Urine Collections

In both the inpatient and outpatient settings, the laboratory has supplied 24 hour urine containers with preservative such as acetic acid, sodium hydroxide, and boric acid.  Upon review of specimen stability requirements, it has been determined that a preservative is not needed prior to collection of most 24 hour urine tests as long as the 24 hour container is kept refrigerated or on ice during the collection period. Continue Reading

Hematology, Referral/Sendouts

Hemoglobin A1c Testing Update

For Hemoglobin A1c testing, Mayo Clinic Laboratory has switched to an Ion-Exchange High-Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) method (Bio-RAD D100) which is the same method of A1c testing used at Spectrum Health Regional Laboratory.  They no longer offer the alternative method, boronate affinity chromatography, for A1c testing.

When A1c cannot be determined due to  interferences that affect the Bio-RAD 100 method, measurement of serum fructosamine is recommended (Mayo test FRUCT). Continue Reading

Chemistry, General Information, Referral/Sendouts

Test Discontinuation: Red Cell Magnesium

Effective January 1, 2019, Spectrum Health Regional Laboratory will no longer offer Magnesium, Red Blood Cell [LAB104] as an option for send out testing.  This testing will no longer be available through Spectrum Health’s primary reference laboratory, Mayo Clinic Laboratories.  This test will become obsolete on January 7, 2019, due to limited clinical utility. Continue Reading

Compliance & Safety, Education & Training, General Information, Referral/Sendouts

Chlamydia and Gonococcus Testing on Pediatric Patients

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. Continue Reading