General Information

Faxing Orders to Outpatient Laboratories

Spectrum Health Regional Laboratory now has ONE centralized fax number to which you can send your lab orders! This means no more searching for the fax number for a particular draw site for your patient. We will enter the faxed orders into our system, making them available to ALL of our draw sites; so your patient will have access to their order at their favorite draw site and the added convenience of going to any draw site that they choose!

*The new fax line number is: 616-774-7696

 *If you are faxing an order for a patient that plans to go to a draw site immediately, please write “Patient En Route” on the order, so that it may be prioritized.

 * Please note: Specimen add-on orders (additional tests for specimens in-lab) are still faxed to 616-267-2751, as stated on the add-on form.

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.

General Information

After Hours Blood Collection for Grand Rapids Critical Needs Patients

Per the memo sent out July 2012, the Grand Rapids area laboratories will draw patients after hours on a limited basis at the Butterworth Hospital Laboratory location ONLY. We will serve patients with emergent laboratory needs with a direct physician request. The laboratory will be unable to accommodate routine walk-in patients outside of normal business hours.

The physician will need to call the Laboratory Call Center at 616-774-7721 to initiate the blood draw for their critical needs patient. Please be prepared to provide our Call Center with relevant information regarding the patient’s situation. You will also be asked to fax a written order to 616-391-3129, and should direct your patient to the Butterworth Admitting for the blood draw. Be advised that this process may take up to 30 minutes to complete the draw using our inpatient phlebotomy staff.

We request that all routine blood draws return to one of our convenient Outpatient laboratory locations during normal business hours. Most laboratory locations are open Monday to Friday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. We recommend that if there is a question regarding hours of operation to contact the draw site.

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.

General Information

Medical Examiner’s Office Honored with Donation Champion Award and Grant from Gift of Life.

Spectrum Health Regional Laboratory’s Forensic Pathologists, Dr. Stephen Cohle and Dr. David Start, were recently recognized by Gift of Life Michigan. The Donation Champion Award was presented to the Kent County’s Medical Examiner office for its extraordinary dedication to make sure individuals and families wishing to donate were able to do so. Continue Reading