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Education & Training

Education & Training, General Information, Test Utilization

Thyroid Disease Awareness Month

This January we are celebrating the National Thyroid Awareness Month. In United States of America, it is estimated that approximately 20 million people have thyroid disease and most importantly, according to the American Thyroid Association (ATA) as many as 60% of people suffering from a thyroid disorder are not aware they have it.The thyroid is a butterfly shaped-gland located at the front of the neck that produces and release thyroid hormones (See Figure 1).

Figure 1. Thyroid Gland Anatomy and Histology

 

It regulates important physiological functions as:

    • Breathing
    • Heart rate
    • Energy production
    • Muscle strength
    • Body temperature
    • Weight
    • Mood

Thyroid disease can present in two main forms:

  1. Hypothyroidism (under functioning thyroid)
  2. Hyperthyroidism (over functioning thyroid)

Confirmation or exclusion of thyroid disease requires a clinical examination combined with biochemical determination of thyroid hormones (TH) and thyrotropin (TSH)concentrations.

In this blog we discuss the best practices for ordering thyroid function tests for the initial screening of thyroid disease at Corewell Health.
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Education & Training, General Information

Lab Specimen Label Printing Update for Corewell Health Epic Users

On 10/31/23, a change was made to lab specimen labels, which included a patient’s preferred name on the label, if it is documented in Epic. This highlighted a change in the names of label types seen by staff when reprinting specimen labels in Epic. Due to a mix of Intermec and Zebra printers across the entire Corewell Health system, defaults needed to be removed from Epic build to account for these differences. Users will now be required to manually choose the correct label type when reprinting labels. The Collection Activity behavior should remain the same. Continue Reading

Education & Training, General Information, Immunochemistry, Test Utilization

Webinar: Optimizing Care of the Respiratory Patient – The Role of Specific IgE Testing

It’s the season of sunshine and blooms which also means it can be a season of sneezing, itching, and a lot of trouble getting a good breath in for some.

⇒Are you prepared to meet the needs of your patients that may be suffering from some of these symptoms?
⇒Are you well versed in the difference between a sensitivity and a clinical allergy and how you can differentiate between the two?
⇒Do you know the resources we have at Corewell Health to assist in these determinations? Continue Reading

Education & Training, General Information, Histology

Best Practices for Small Tissue Material

Tissue specimens less than 0.1cm may yield insufficient results if submitted for Tissue Pathology. To make the best use of diagnostic tissue material please follow the below guidelines:

Biopsy Size Order Code Test Preservative
<0.1cm LAB2111263 Fine Needle Aspiration (FNA) Cytology *CytoLyt solution
>0.1cm LAB8 Tissue Pathology 10% Formalin

*Place entire specimen in CytoLyt. Do not attempt to make smears from specimen.

Please contact the Corewell Health Pathology Department at (616)267-2622 Mon-Fri, 8am-5pm, or the Corewell Health Laboratory Call Center at (616)774-7721, 24/7 to speak with a Pathologist.

Compliance & Safety, Education & Training, General Information, Main lab, Test Utilization

Inform: RSV Testing – Age Restrictions

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) primarily infects pediatric patients, but occasionally infects adults and may be of particular concern for the elderly and immunocompromised. Corewell Health Laboratories offers two tests for RSV. A rapid antigen test may be used to confirm RSV diagnosis in pediatric patients. This test is not approved by the FDA for testing adult patients, so tests will be cancelled if ordered on an off-label age group. There are no age restrictions for RSV testing by way of a molecular panel that also includes COVID and influenza as viruses with overlapping symptoms.

Test name Epic Test ID Methodology Specimen Age restriction
RSV Rapid LAB495 Antigen Nasopharyngeal (NP) swab Approved for patients 0 – 18 years of age
COVID, Influenza, RSV PCR LAB1230746 Molecular/PCR Nasopharyngeal (NP) swab No age restriction
Compliance & Safety, Education & Training, General Information, Main lab

COVID-19 Test Update for Regional Hospital Lab Clients

Effective Tuesday, September 27, 2022, the following laboratories will be going live with the GeneXpert Xpress for COVID-19 testing: Big Rapids, Gerber, Ludington, Pennock, Reed City, United, and Zeeland.

Please ensure your sites are stocked with the correct collection devices listed below in preparation of the changeover. Continue Reading

Education & Training, General Information

Printed Lab Result Report Updates

Effective September 21st between 10 am and noon, laboratory results that are either printed or faxed will be updated to display test groupings in an order specialized to each type of result report.

For example, AP specific Result Reports will now display AP related test results near the top of the report, with additional results below.

For questions and inquiries, please use the “contact us” link above.

 

Compliance & Safety, Education & Training, General Information

Tips for Home Collection

From collection to transport, Spectrum Health Laboratories must have quality specimens to produce accurate results you can trust. A quality specimen is one that has been collected and transported, keeping specimen integrity and patient identification intact. It is important to remind patients to carefully follow all collection and transportation instructions to ensure the sample usable and not tainted.

Please help remind patients:

♦ Submit all specimens as soon as collection is completed. Many tests are time sensitive.

♦ After collection, make sure lid is secured and fastened evenly, as leaky specimens will be rejected.

♦ Keep the container upright at all times.

♦ If a second container is needed, the patient should obtain a second container from the laboratory or draw site. Do not use home containers (i.e. butter container) or bags, as these may contaminate the specimen.

♦ Specimen is labeled clearly with

◊ Patient’s full legal name

◊ Date of birth

◊ Date and time of collection

Warning: Some kits contain preservatives. Please let patients know to not drink, ingest or inhale fumes. If disposal is needed please contact the laboratory.  In case of skin or eye contact, irritation, or swallowing call poison control as soon as possible: 800.222.1222.

For more information, please review “Laboratory Specimen Home Collection Document” or the Lab Catalog for more information.