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General Information

Compliance & Safety, Education & Training, General Information

Appropriate Labeling for Shared Specimen – COVID-19 & FLU AB PCR

To provide efficient and safe testing for patient specimens, please review the following information when sending COVID-19 PCR and Influenza A/B PCR testing in the same encounter to Spectrum Health Laboratories.

Two labels will be available for this testing. Labels must be fixed so that

• The test and patient information are shown
• The barcode may be easily scanned by Lab staff or instruments

When this is not done correctly, Laboratory staff removes the labels and re-fixes or re-prints it, which obstructs workflow, causes delays, and could result in patient information being peeled off. With patient safety and efficient testing being two of the Lab’s top priorities, it is vital that specimens arrive in such a way as to best accomplish both. Continue Reading

Chemistry, General Information, Immunochemistry

Test Update: Rubella IgG Antibody Testing

UPDATE 1/7/2022: This has been delayed until February 2022

On January 24th, 2022 Rubella Antibody, IgG, Serum (LAB496) and Rubella IgG Antibody Quantitative (LAB3544) will be combined as LAB496 and moved to the Immunochemistry laboratory due to reagent constrains with the current vendor.

Testing will be available Monday-Friday with a turn-around-time of 1-3 days. Results will be reported qualitatively as Immune or Not Immune.  If quantitative results are needed, please fax Immunochemistry at 616-267-2771 or call 616-267-2770. Continue Reading

General Information, Hematology

Test Update: Cell Count with Differential, Body Fluid

Beginning Tuesday, January 4, 2022, Spectrum Health Laboratories will include an automated neutrophil (PMN) count on Cell Count with Differential, Body Fluid (LAB210) orders for peritoneal body fluids.   This component will be displayed in Epic as an absolute PMN count, body fluid.

• The absolute PMN count in the peritoneal fluid is calculated by multiplying the total nucleated cell count by the percentage of PMNs in the differential.

• This calculation aids in the diagnosis of spontaneous bacterial peritonitis (SBP).

• The diagnosis of bacterial peritonitis is established by a positive peritoneal fluid bacterial culture and an elevated peritoneal fluid absolute PMN count (≥250 cells/uL).

• Epic will automatically calculate the absolute PMN count in peritoneal body fluids based on the manual differential data.

• This component ONLY calculates for Cell Count with Differentials (LAB210) on PERITONEAL BODY FLUIDS Continue Reading

Microbiology, Test Spotlight

Influenza Testing Recommendation Update

The mitigation strategies enacted during the COVID-19 pandemic to reduce the spread of this virus led to essentially non-existent influenza prevalence during the 2020-2021 winter season. However, influenza has now returned and case numbers are increasing throughout West Michigan.

Influenza prevalence guides the most appropriate testing approach and sufficient prevalence has now been reached for influenza rapid antigen testing (e.g. Sofia instrument) to have improved performance. The use of rapid antigen testing as a screening method during high prevalence reduces both the cost to the patient and turn-around-time as compared to lab-based molecular methods. Rapid antigen tests generally have high analytical specificity, but lack the sensitivity of nucleic acid amplification methods (e.g. PCR). For this reason, PCR testing is still recommended for hospitalized patients and for outpatients with a negative antigen result if influenza is still suspected and if the result will impact clinical decision making. Continue Reading

General Information, Hemostasis/Coagulation

Test Update: Prothrombin Time (Protime/PT)

Effective December 6, 2021, Spectrum Health Reference Laboratory (SHRL) Coagulation department will go live with a new lot of Prothrombin Time (Protime/PT) reagents. The reference range for the PT will be adjusted to reflect this reagent lot change and align with our Regional Laboratories. The new reference range will be 9.5 – 12.0 seconds. There will be no change to the INR ranges.

Test Current Reference Range New Reference Range
Prothrombin Time (PT) 9.7 – 12.6 seconds 9.5 – 12.0 seconds

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General Information

Sofia Strep Test Kit – Stable Supply

The supply of the Sofia Strep Test Kits (ITM-1052057) has returned to a stable level allowing the system to migrate back to this Strep Test kit solely. Please note once the remaining supply of the alternative strep test kit (Cardinal – ITM-1157857) is depleted, the item will be inactivated.

Due to this change, please ensure competencies are up to date for the Sofia Strep test kit.

Procedure Reference #17340, #24118.

 

Test Information:

Strep A Rapid, Throat Swab Only Epic Code [LAB8850]

Chemistry, General Information

Test Update: Thyroglobulin Antibody

Effective immediately, Thyroglobulin Antibody will be performed at Spectrum Health Reference Laboratory (SHRL, Grand Rapids, MI) and will no longer be a sendout to Mayo Clinical Laboratories. Collection instructions and other information may have changed, please visit the lab catalog for more information.

Thyroglobulin Tumor Marker will continue to be a sendout. If a Thyroglobulin Antibody is ordered with a Thyroglobulin Tumor Marker, then the Thyroglobulin Antibody will automatically be canceled as Mayo Clinic Laboratories will perform the Thyroglobulin Antibody as well as the Tumor Marker.

For questions and inquiries, please use the “Contact Us” link above.

 

TEST INFORMATION

New test: Thyroglobulin Antibody [LAB1230840] 

Former test: Thyroglobulin Antibody, Serum [LAB1230457]

Mentioned Test: Thyroglobulin, Tumor Marker, Serum [LAB864]

Advanced Technology Laboratory, General Information, Main lab, Test Utilization

Outpatient Respiratory Viral Testing

Spectrum Health Lab has noticed an increase in outpatient orders for Respiratory Pathogens by Film Array [LAB3359].  This may be due to a shortage of supplies for some Point of Care (POC) testing platforms.  Film Array is typically used for emergency and high acuity patients and therefore has a high cost that may not be covered by most patients’ insurance.  To lesson out of pocket costs for your patients, please order the below for RSV, COVID, or Flu testing. Continue Reading