The mitigation strategies enacted during the COVID-19 pandemic to reduce the spread of this virus have also impacted the transmission of other respiratory viruses. Influenza is typically prevalent during the winter months (December through March), however, influenza cases were essentially non-existent during the 2020-2021 season and influenza is not currently circulating in our community.
In the absence of circulating influenza activity, it is recommended to use the most sensitive diagnostic test in order to obtain accurate and actionable results. Influenza antigen testing (e.g. Sofia instrument) is not appropriate at this time. 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
If you are collecting COVID-19 swabs in your office or clinic, please order and collect using the saline swab kits (“liquid media” or “wet collection”) instead of the tube with no liquid media (“dry collection”).
• Liquid media swab kits will provide a faster turn-around time.
• Dry collection kits supplies are low.
Please refer to the COVID-19 PCR test in the Lab Catalog for the most up-to-date information on COVID-19 collection.
• COVID-19 PCR Swab – LAB1230607
Self-collected vaginal swabs may be used for STI testing as opposed to provider-collected swabs. Self-collected swabs are supported by current clinical guidelines as recent studies have shown their equivalence, if not superiority, in quality and their association with increased patient satisfaction.
NOTE: Self-collection must still take place in a healthcare setting and is not approved for at-home collection.
Effective January 26, 2021, the reference range for the Gestational Diabetes 1 Hour Screen will be updated from 65-140 to 65-135. This reference range adjustment is being made to better align with the current practices of our OB/GYN providers for abnormal flagging for gestational diabetes.
As of 5/18/2021 – Production of collection kits is no longer limited. Please resume normal ordering practices.
There is a national shortage of testing and collection material for Chlamydia Trachomatis (CT) and Gonococcal (GC) infections. Spectrum Health is currently experiencing difficulties obtaining collection kits to perform the testing for all methods.
Test manufacturer supply chains continue to be disrupted due to COVID-19. Currently, there is a shortage of supplies for the Group B Streptococcus PCR test. Orders for this PCR test may continue to be placed, however, the SHRL Microbiology Department will perform a culture method until PCR supplies are available with appropriate charging and a reporting comment indicating that the culture was performed. The PCR test is normally resulted within 24-48 hours of specimen receipt in lab, whereas the culture method turnaround time may be 48-72 hours. An update will be posted when these PCR supplies are received, however, there may continue to be intermittent supply issues for this test. Additional test information can be found here.
UPDATED 6/3/2020 – This test has been put on hold until further notice. Spectrum Health Laboratory will continue to forward orders for Noninvasive Prenatal Screening to Natera to perform the testing.
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.
As of November 25th 2019 the following tests for Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV) IgM antibody testing will be obsoleted.
Herpes IgM Antibody Screen – LAB3576
Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV) Antibody Screen, IgM, by EIA, Serum – LAB3578
Herpes Simplex Panel – LAB1230539
Effective Wednesday, November 13, 2019, the new Mycoplasma genitalium (mgen) assay is now available using the Aptima target nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT) for the qualitative detection of ribosomal RNA (rRNA) from Mycoplasma genitalium to aid in the diagnosis of M. genitalium urogenital infections in male and female patients.