Effective January 4, 2023, the process for reporting the Microalbumin/Creatinine ratio was changed for situations where one of the results, microalbumin and/or creatinine, is below or above the assay’s analytical measuring range (AMR).
West Michigan influenza infections peaked mid-March 2022 and have been declining in the weeks that followed. Now with a low prevalence of circulating influenza, using the most sensitive diagnostic test is recommended in order to obtain accurate and actionable results. Influenza antigen testing (e.g. Sofia instrument) is no longer appropriate at this time and Influenza PCR testing should be ordered when clinically indicated.
|Influenza PCR (LAB3255)
|Influenza Rapid Antigen (LAB2111530)
Influenza PCR (LAB3255)
More detailed information can be found as published by the CDC:
Algorithm to assist in the interpretation of influenza testing results and clinical decision-making during periods when influenza viruses are NOT circulating in the community, and in previous lab newsletters: Influenza Diagnosis and Test Utilization
|Interface EMR Code
|Influenza Rapid Antigen
Folate (aka Folic Acid) is a test that requires the patient to be fasting in order for the results be accurate. Results are falsely elevated if the patient is not fasting. Spectrum Health Laboratories recently updated our system to hard stop a test from being collected if the patient is not fasting. Please remind your patients to fast 8 hours prior to having their blood drawn.
Spectrum Health Laboratories recommends:
• No caloric or caffeine intake for 8-12 hours prior to testing. Do not eat or drink anything except normal amounts of plain water. This also includes no smoking, chewing gum, candy, cough drops, etc.
• Take normal dosages of medications unless the provider has instructed otherwise.
Click here for a list of tests the require or recommend fasting.
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.
In continued pursuit of alignment, regional market hospital labs have adopted the Sysmex-Siemens automated urinalysis system. This advanced platform elevates analytical control and automation, eliminates manual steps previously required from former systems, and offers the latest in digital particle imagery. Combined with exceptional service engineer support, this system represents a notable step forward in urinalysis performance.
Effective September 15, 2021, Spectrum Health’s Epic will contain new ask-at-order questions to help improve clinical decision support and appropriate utilization of stool ova and parasite (O&P) testing. O&P testing may be used to diagnose several parasitic infections, though the staining of stool smears and their microscopic review is very labor intensive for laboratories. Historically, O&P testing has been widely ordered for patients with diarrhea, however, there are now other testing options able to detect the most common pathogens associated with community-acquired diarrhea. While Enteric Pathogens PCR and Giardia/Cryptosporidium testing is more appropriate for the identification of common bacterial/viral and parasitic pathogens, respectively, O&P testing should be reserved for patients with specific exposure or immune status criteria.
The Pharmacy and Infectious Disease Stewardship Committee has endorsed the following order criteria for O&P testing. If any of these criteria are met, then then order can be placed.
♦ Past foreign residence or recent foreign travel followed by at least 2 weeks of diarrhea.
♦ Immunocompromised status.
♦ Unexplained microcytic anemia or peripheral eosinophilia.
♦ Unique exposure (daycare, MSM, waterborne outbreak, etc.)
Note: If no criteria are met, cancel the order and consider Giardia/Cryptosporidium Screen (LAB258) or Enteric Pathogens PCR testing (LAB3618).
Please direct question to the Contact Us link above.
Ova and Parasites, Complete – Epic: #LAB9550, Interface Code #50033, CPT #87328, 87329, 87177, 87209
Enteric Pathogens by PCR – Epic #LAB3618, Interface Code #55078, CPT #87506
Giardia/Cryptosporidium Screen – Epic #LAB258, Interface Code #50025, CPT #87329, 87328
Effective December 9, 2020, the following insect allergen components will be available:
◊ Allergen Honey Bee Component Panel – EPIC #LAB1230747, Interface #1230747, CPT 86008
◊ Allergen Common Wasp (Yellow Jacket) Component Panel – EPIC #LAB1230752, Interface #1230752, CPT 86008
◊ Allergen Paper Wasp Component rPol d 5 – EPIC #LAB1230754, Interface #1230754, CPT 86008
◊ Cross-reactive Carbohydrate Determinant (CCD) – EPIC #LAB1230755, Interface #1230755, CPT 86008
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.
Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) testing is available to be ordered individually on serum or CSF. A panel for multiple Arboviruses is also available on both serum and CSF. Both tests are sent to Mayo Clinical Laboratories. Please order “Reference Lab Send Out for Miscellaneous Tests” for each test ordered and indicate test name in the required order field.
Effective May 20, 2019, Spectrum Health Regional Laboratory Cytogenetics Department is pleased to announce the launch of a new microarray platform AffymetrixTM Cytoscan® HD. The Affymetrix Cytoscan HD is designed for the accurate and comprehensive analysis of chromosomal variants in the human genome.