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Test Spotlight

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

Chemistry, General Information, Test Spotlight

Sysmex Urinalysis Series Go Live

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. Continue Reading

General Information, Test Spotlight

LIVE Webinar – NEW Colorectal Cancer Screen—Polymedco FIT Kit

Please join us for a 30-minute webinar on our new test for colorectal cancer screening: Occult Blood, CRC Screening.

The Fecal Immunochemical Test (FIT) screening method for hemoglobin in stool is the new standard of care for the early detection of blood which may be associated with colorectal cancer. It is changing the outcome of colorectal cancer.

We are offering two training webinars for our Spectrum Health and SHMG Providers and clinical staff on October 13th and 14th and two for our community providers and clinical staff (non-SHMG) on October 20th and 21st to help provide specific ordering practices.

The goal of this webinar is to address:

♦ Why screening for colorectal cancer is important.

♦ How to order to get supplies of the kit in your office.

♦ How to place the order.

♦ What is in the Polymedco FIT Kit.

♦ Patient collection process.

♦ Important instructions for the patient.

If you cannot attend one of the below webinars or have any questions, please use the Contact Us link above.

Continue Reading

Microbiology, Test Spotlight, Test Utilization

Stool Ova & Parasite Exam: New Order Criteria

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.

 

TEST INFORMATION

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

 

General Information, Immunochemistry, Test Spotlight

New Insect Allergen Component Testing

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 Continue Reading

Hemostasis/Coagulation, Test Spotlight

New Reference Range: APTT and APTT Assay

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.

General Information, Referral/Sendouts, Test Spotlight

Eastern Equine Encephalitis Testing Options

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. Continue Reading

Microbiology, Test Spotlight

OSOMⓇ Trichomonas Antigen test replaces Trichomonas Wet Prep

The Trichomonas Wet Prep test has been replaced with the OSOM® Trichomonas Antigen test.

This new lateral flow immunochromatographic test offers enhanced sensitivity through the detection of Trichomonas antigen as opposed to the traditional wet prep method, which relied on the labor intensive microscopic visualization of motile Trichomonas trophozoites. Because this new assay detects antigen as opposed to viable organism, specimen stability is also extended. When collected with a single eSwab™, specimens are stable for up to 24 hours at ambient temperature and 36 hours when refrigerated. Swabs collected for the wet prep method were only stable for 3-5 hours, so there is no longer a need for STAT delivery to the laboratory.