Chemistry, Test Spotlight

Reminder: Folate Test and Fasting

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. Continue Reading

Education & Training, General Information, Test Spotlight, Test Utilization

Webinar: Managing Rhinitis Patients and the Role of Specific IgE Testing

LIVE Webinar –Managing Rhinitis Patients and the Role of Specific IgE Testing, available at Spectrum Health!

Featuring Guest Speaker Scott Duhaime, MPAS, PA-C

Please join us for a 30-minute webinar on the importance of the primary care providers’ role in regard to managing patients suffering with symptoms consistent with rhinitis—itchy watery eyes, runny nose, and congestion.

We are offering two training webinars for all providers and clinical staff on March 24th.

The goal of this webinar is to address:

♦ Importance of ruling in and ruling out allergies

♦ Debunking misconceptions around managing rhinitis

♦ Simplified patient care management

♦ Qualified referral

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Education & Training, General Information

Reminder: Fasting Tests

Several tests performed by Spectrum Health Laboratories and our Reference Laboratories (Mayo Clinic Lab) require or recommend fasting.

Please check the Lab Catalog prior to sending your patient to a draw site or sending a patient’s specimens to the lab. Help remind patients to arrive fasting if fasting tests are required.

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. Some tests also require no alcoholic beverages for 24-48 hours prior to testing.

Take normal dosages of medications, unless the provider has instructed otherwise.

Results may be inaccurate if fasting was not done prior to the test and may lead to improper diagnosis or treatment. Testing will need to be repeated if patient was not fasting properly before testing.

List of fasting tests

Advanced Technology Laboratory, Molecular Diagnostics

Test Discontinuation: MTHFR C677T

MTHFR C677T [LAB7390], the methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase mutation analysis, is being discontinued as an obsolete test.

The American College of Medical Genetics (ACMG) and American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) have determined that MTHFR C677T testing has minimal clinical utility. Current testing recommendations indicate that this test should not be ordered as part of a routine evaluation for thrombophilia or adverse pregnancy outcomes. Continue Reading

General Information, Microbiology

New Test: Varicella Zoster Virus (VZV) PCR, Swab

Effective February 10, 2022, Spectrum Health Regional Laboratory will offer Varicella Zoster Virus (VZV) PCR testing on swab specimens collected from cutaneous and mucocutaneous lesions (e.g. anorectal, genital, nasal, ocular, oral, skin, urethral).

PCR is the test method of choice for the diagnosis of VZV infection due to its enhanced sensitivity and speed as compared to traditional viral cultures, which should no longer be used for VZV detection. Continue Reading

General Information

Supply Update: UTM with Swab

The following NEW items are available at the Spectrum Health Distribution Center.

ITM-1140078 – Viral Transport Media with Nasopharyngeal Swab (NP, UTM)

ITM-1186125 – Viral Transport Media with Flocked Swab (UTM)

Spectrum Health and Spectrum Health Medical Group providers, please order via Workday. Independent and non-SH providers please order via the Laboratory Supply Form.

ITM-1140078 has replaced ITM-1140814 – Saline Swab Kit for Covid Nasopharyngeal collection. ITM-1186125 is recommended for Nares (Nostril) collection. Please reference the Laboratory Catalog for more information on specimen collection containers for COVID testing.

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