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.
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 Changes”
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.
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.
Please read below for Independence Day holiday hours for the following departments in the Laboratory:
- Outpatient Draw Sites (Outpatient Phlebotomy)
- Referrals Department (Spectrum Health Regional Laboratory, Grand Rapids)
- Flow Cytometry Laboratory (Advanced Technology Laboratory, Grand Rapids)
Please refer to the below for Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV) orders:
Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV) PCR Testing Update
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.
Effective April 30, 2020, Spectrum Health Laboratories will no longer be performing the D-Dimer Semi-Quantitative assay. D-Dimer (quantitative) will be the only orderable for the D-Dimer assay. This D-Dimer will be reportable up to 35,000 ng/mL FEU. The cut-off value used in the diagnosis of venous thromboembolism (VTE), deep vein thrombosis (DVT), or pulmonary embolism (PE) remains at 500 ng/mL FEU. It is important to note inpatients can be (falsely) elevated in many underlying non-thrombotic conditions common in hospitalized patients.
Questions and inquiries regarding this change may be sent to the Coagulation Department using the “Contact Us” link above.
D-Dimer – [Epic Code: LAB313, Interface Code: 10123, CPT 85379]
Discontinued: D-Dimer Semiquantitative for DIC [Epic Code: LAB760, Interface Code: 10122, CPT: 85378]
Effective April 22nd, 2020, the following ANA (Antinuclear Antibodies) Tests’ name will be updated. The change in naming convention comes in hopes of enhancing proper test utilization. This update includes only the name change with no changes in laboratory testing workflow.
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.