Beginning October 1, 2022, Spectrum Health Laboratory will update the current Chlamydia and Gonococcus testing using Abbott multi-Collect kit and Abbott m2000 platform to the Abbott Alinity m multi-Collect kit and Alinity m platform. This platform update will include an orderable name change and change in collection materials.
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.
Effective September 21, 2022, the resulting options for the following Hepatitis lab result components will be updated from “Positive”/”Negative” to “Reactive”/”Nonreactive”. Any additional current resulting options, such as “Equivocal” or “See Comment”, will remain available. This will only affect applicable tests that have not yet been resulted.
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.
|Recommended Order||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
|Test name||Epic code||Interface EMR Code||CPT Code|
|Influenza Rapid Antigen||LAB2111530||11208||87804 x4|
As of April 5th, 2022, Herpes Simplex viral PCR testing will transition from being performed in the Spectrum Health Molecular department to the Microbiology department. There are no changes to the acceptable specimen sources for this test (cerebrospinal fluid and blood plasma specimens). Benefits of the new Microbiology testing method include:
• The new test method (DiaSorin Simplexa® HSV PCR) is FDA-cleared for testing spinal fluid specimens with a validated modification for testing plasma specimens. The prior method was a lab-developed test for both specimen types.
• Especially for pediatric patients, collecting sufficient specimen volumes can sometimes be challenging. The new method requires a minimum of 0.05 mL specimen per run whereas the prior method required 0.2 mL specimen.
• The frequency of testing will increase from typically one run per day to testing being performed at several times each day.
To provide efficient and safe testing for patient specimens, please review the following information when sending COVID-19 PCR and Influenza A/B PCR testing in the same encounter to Spectrum Health Laboratories.
Two labels will be available for this testing. Labels must be fixed so that
• The test and patient information are shown
• The barcode may be easily scanned by Lab staff or instruments
When this is not done correctly, Laboratory staff removes the labels and re-fixes or re-prints it, which obstructs workflow, causes delays, and could result in patient information being peeled off. With patient safety and efficient testing being two of the Lab’s top priorities, it is vital that specimens arrive in such a way as to best accomplish both.
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.
Spectrum Health Lab has noticed an increase in outpatient orders for Respiratory Pathogens by Film Array [LAB3359]. This may be due to a shortage of supplies for some Point of Care (POC) testing platforms. Film Array is typically used for emergency and high acuity patients and therefore has a high cost that may not be covered by most patients’ insurance. To lesson out of pocket costs for your patients, please order the below for RSV, COVID, or Flu testing.