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.
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.
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Spectrum Health Laboratories is accepting COVID test orders from Spectrum Health and outside providers. For additional information, please refer to our Outpatient Provider Office Collection Information Packet. This packet contains ordering and supply information as well as other related information.
•Spectrum Health Laboratory offers nasal self-collection observation at select draw sites.
•If you’re interested in having your patient tested via nasopharyngeal swab and you cannot collect specimens in your office, please direct your patient to the screening hotline: 833.559.0659. Screening is required before COVID collection and testing can occur for the hotline. If a patient already has a nasopharyngeal or nares order and would like to schedule a collection via phone, they can call 616-391-2380.
• Patients can also self screen and schedule through the MyChart App
Providers: COVID-19 testing criteria:
LINK: Symptoms of COVID-19 (CDC guidelines)
LINK: Testing criteria (CDC guidelines)
Facilities: If you would like to receive testing for your staff and/or residents please follow these instructions:
•Call: 616-486-1075 or
Outpatient Draw Site Hours:
Outpatient draw site hours and availability may have changed. Please refer to Find-A-Doc for more information.
• Link: Find-A-Doc Location
Nasopharyngeal (NP) swabs are the preferred specimen type.
Link: Nasopharyngeal Collection
If NP swabs cannot be collected, anterior nasal swabs may be collected as an alternative with slightly reduced sensitivity.
New Test: COVID-19 IgG Antibody – Serology test
Click on images for printable pdf version.
The most conclusive evidence for using thyroid peroxidase antibody (TPO) is predictive in nature when evaluating possible subclinical hypothyroidism. If this test is positive, hypothyroidism occurs at a rate of 4.3% per year versus 2.6% per year when the antibody is negative. While this scenario does not cover all clinical indications for ordering TPO, there is no definitive evidence that repeat TPO testing provides additional information.1
Based on this information the ordering of TPO within Spectrum Health is being modified. If the test is ordered more than once on a patient, a screen will appear in EPIC indicating the following: “This test should typically only be resulted once per lifetime. The duplicate checking indicates that this patient has already had this testing performed. Please see chart review for results.” This is not a “hard stop” but providers will need to click “Continue” to proceed with the order.
In both the inpatient and outpatient settings, the laboratory has supplied 24 hour urine containers with preservative such as acetic acid, sodium hydroxide, and boric acid. Upon review of specimen stability requirements, it has been determined that a preservative is not needed prior to collection of most 24 hour urine tests as long as the 24 hour container is kept refrigerated or on ice during the collection period.
As part of the Choosing Wisely campaign, the American Association of Blood Banks (AABB) released five recommendations for transfusions:
When sending specimens collected in the office, place the Epic/Epic Care Link Lab Orders orange slip in the bag with the specimens. You no longer need to print the Order Requisition out of Epic.
Effective immediately, QuantiFERON®-TB Gold test (QFT), the industry-leading Interferon-gamma Release Assay (IGRA) for TB detection used at Spectrum Health Regional Laboratory is being replaced by the QuantiFERON-TB Gold Plus (QFT-Plus).
The QFT-Plus is now optimized with innovative tuberculosis-specific antigens that elicit both CD8 and CD4 T cell responses, enabling a more comprehensive assessment of cell-mediated immune response to TB infection. The test principle, procedures, and specimen handling will remain the same with the one exception being that the collection kit will now consist of four tubes instead of three. Three-tube collections can no longer be accepted and will thus be canceled.
If you have three-tube collection kits, please order new four-tube collection kits in Lawson (#54909) or via the Lab Supply Order Form.
Please direct urgent questions to the Laboratory Call Center at 616-774-7721 or for non-urgent inquiries use the “contact us” link above.