Advanced Technology Laboratory, Education & Training, General Information, Referral/Sendouts

Covid-19 Information

New posts will appear below this post.

Updated 11/13/20

If you are PATIENT requiring COVID-19 testing or information, please refer to the Spectrum Health COVID-19 Information Page: https://www.spectrumhealth.org/covid19 

If you are a FACILTY and would like to receive testing for your STAFF and/or RESIDENTS, please contact: 616.486.1075 or email covidemployerhotline@spectrumhealth.org.

The following information is for PROVIDERS and CLINICIANS that wish to order COVID-19 testing: https://lab.spectrumhealth.org/covid-19/ Continue Reading

Compliance & Safety, General Information

Reminder: Winter Lock Box

march-winter-lockboxTo maintain optimal specimen integrity, Spectrum Health Laboratory requests that you load your outdoor lock box properly for winter weather temperatures. Please follow the diagram on the right to prevent freezing of specimens.

Frozen specimen should never be left in the lock box for after-hours pickup. These tests may be better preserved in the office freezer until the next day’s courier pickup.

Request for specimen pickup should be made to the Laboratory Call Center at 616.774.7721.

Education & Training

Webinar: ACOG & ISPD Recommendations on NIPT for Twins

On Wednesday, December 9th, Natera is offering a webinar on the advantages of SNP-based method in prenatal screening for twins.

Join the 25 minute webinar to learn:

  • What do the ACOG and ISPD recommendations say about using NIPT for twins?
  • What unique capabilities of Panorama in twin pregnancies are highlighted in these recommendations?
  • How can Panorama’s capabilities help you better manage twin pregnancies?
  • How accurate is Panorama in detecting aneuploidy and other features important to twins?

For more information: Webinar Details and Registration

General Information, Immunochemistry, Main lab, Referral/Sendouts

Change in testing for Lyme Total Antibody

Starting November 1, 2020, the Lyme Total Antibody test will temporarily not be performed in-house and will be sent out to the Mayo Clinic Laboratories using the Lyme Disease Serology, Serum.  This is due to the backorder of reagents from the vendor until approximately January 2021.

Lyme Disease Serology, Serum is available to order in Epic. Lyme Total Antibody will still be available to order, however, when the specimen arrives to the laboratory the order will be switched to the Lyme Disease Serology, Serum.

Similarly, to the current in-house test, the Mayo assay is also a Lyme total antibody assay, detecting both IgG and IgM antibodies, with the same specimen type as the in-house test.  However, test turn-around-times may be increased.

Lastly, this change will have no effect on the reflexing of positive samples to the confirmatory Lyme Disease Antibody, Immunoblot, Serum. Continue Reading

General Information, Microbiology, Referral/Sendouts, Test Utilization

Obsoletion of Mayo Send-Out Test Influenza Virus A/B Antibodies, IgG and IgM

As of October 29, 2020, the following send-out tests will be will become obsoleted due to lack of clinical utility:

SFLA Influenza Virus A Antibodies, IgG and IgM (Separate Determinations), Serum [LAB802]

SFLB Influenza Virus B Antibodies, IgG and IgM (Separate Determinations), Serum [LAB803]

For diagnosis of acute Influenza infection the following molecular tests are recommended:

Influenza A/B PCR [LAB3255]

Influenza A/B Rapid [LAB9240]**

Influenza A/B Rapid, Influenza A/B PCR if Negative [LAB2111530]**

**Available only at regionals and during times of high flu incidence Continue Reading

Compliance & Safety, General Information, Immunochemistry, Main lab

Serum Kappa/Lambda Free Light Chain Assay Update

Effective September 28th, 2020, a new generation of the serum kappa/lambda free light chain assay has been implemented.

With the implementation of the new generation of the assay there is an approximately 20% negative bias for kappa free light chains in serum containing >20 mg/dL kappa free light chain.  This may affect the trending for patient who are serially monitored by this assay. Continue Reading

General Information, Immunochemistry, Test Utilization

Protein Electrophoresis Orderable Changes

As of August 26, 2020, the following tests will be obsoleted or made as lab orderables only.  This was implemented to streamline protein electrophoresis orders and ensure that patients receive the recommended testing for the assessment of plasma cell proliferative diseases.

In addition to streamlining protein electrophoresis orders, order questions have been implemented to the available tests to access the reason for ordering to ensure that the proper reflex testing is applied.

For more information, see the lab test directory under the available tests for a protein electrophoresis orders tip sheet entitled “Orders- Protein Orderable ChangesContinue Reading

Compliance & Safety, Education & Training, General Information

Leaky Specimen Containers

Leaky specimen containers may cause compromised test results and it is also a hazard to lab couriers and registration personnel. Leaky specimen containers are not acceptable and may be rejected.

In order to prevent leaky containers, please be sure to:

  • Pay close attention to the lid, making sure the screw-cap lids are fastened evenly and securely, with the threads aligned. If a patient has challenges with tightening the lid, please have them notify lab staff when they return to drop off their container.
  • Containers should be upright at all times, with lid on the top during transport. If container is placed in a biohazard bag, please maintain in the upright position by gripping the cup or the handle and not by the top of the bag.

The Laboratory provides a brochure “Laboratory Specimen Home Collection” for patient collection instructions. Internal offices (i.e. SHMG) may order these from Document Services using the order number X17776 (X19611 for the Spanish version). External offices may order these from Laboratory Courier Services using the Supply Order Form.

Hemostasis/Coagulation, Test Spotlight

New Reference Range: APTT and APTT Assay

Beginning September 8, at approximately 2PM, Spectrum Health Laboratories will go live with their new lot of APTT reagent.  This lot change triggered a new therapeutic curve resulting in new heparin nomograms for the system.  The standard heparin therapeutic range will change from the current 45-65 seconds to a new range of 37-52 seconds based off the new curve.  Reference ranges for the APTT assay will also be updated.  Grand Rapids APTT reference range will be 21-27 seconds and the Regional Hospitals will be 21-31 seconds.

APTT specimens that are unable to reach an endpoint (no clot is detected), will reflex to the Unfractionated Heparin (UFH) (Test Code LAB3389) anti-Xa assay.  To accommodate this change, UFH values have been added to heparin nomograms. The UFH anti-Xa assay is currently only performed in the Grand Rapids labs and valid only for unfractionated heparin.  Any questions concerning these changes may be directed to the Spectrum Health Regional Laboratory Coagulation department at 616-267-2740.