At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic Spectrum Health Laboratory implemented a protocol to call providers and patients to notify of positive COVID-19 PCR testing. The pandemic has shifted to an endemic phase and a positive COVID-19 test is no longer considered a critical value. Effective Friday, August 26, 2022, Spectrum Health Laboratory will no longer call positive COVID-19 PCR testing, for inpatient or outpatient specimens.
Results for COVID-19 PCR will still file to the patient’s chart in Epic and reported to the ordering provider through usual means of receiving results (fax or electronic) and to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS). Patient’s will still be notified via their MyChart as well.
If you have any questions or concerns, please use the “contact us” link above.
After consultation with our clinical partners, Spectrum Health West Michigan Laboratory will be adjusting the pediatric reference ranges for our new ALT and AST reagents in an effort to better serve our population. Numerous academic studies were reviewed, and the values listed below were adopted on August 3, 2022:
The Enteric Pathogens PCR test performed by Spectrum Health Laboratory may be used to detect common pathogenic bacteria and viruses in stool collected from individuals with symptoms of gastrointestinal infection. Specifically, this test detects Campylobacter, Salmonella, Shigella, Vibrio, Yersinia enterocolitica, Norovirus, Rotavirus, and the Shiga toxin virulence factor. Effective August 17, 2022, Spectrum Health’s Epic EMR will contain new ask-at-order questions to help improve the clinical decision support and appropriate utilization of this testing.
As of July 19, 2022, in alignment with recommendations from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) the reference range for blood lead testing has been updated from 5 mcg/dL to 3.5 mcg/dL.
This applies to both: Lead, Blood Level [LAB98] and Lead Screen Filter Paper [LAB2111119].
In addition, at this time the low end of reporting for Lead Screen Filter Paper [LAB2111119] has increased from 1 mcg/dL to 2 mcg/dL.
Effective May 16, 2022, Platelet Aggregation Studies will no longer flag abnormal in Epic for elevated aggregation for ADP, epinephrine, collagen, and arachidonic acid. These elevated result components are not clinically abnormal and may cause unnecessary concern if flagged as abnormal.
Effective May 9th, 2022, Spectrum Health Laboratory’s Microbiology Department will no longer be preemptively setting up cultures on swabs without a source and order, when received on Thursdays through Sundays and Holidays. Note: The specimen will still be held, but cultures will not be set up in anticipation of the order.
Effective immediately, due to low test utilization and the high cost of maintaining proficiency, the following FISH tests will no longer be offered:
• Prader-Willi/Angelman (15q11-q13) by FISH
Recommended test is Angelman/Prader-Willi mPCR
• Smith Magenis (17p11) by FISH
• Williams (7q11,23) by FISH
If need arises for this test, please place an order for a Send out Genetics Miscellaneous and enter requested test in the comments. The testing will be sent out through Spectrum Health.
Any questions about referral testing may be directed to the Referral Department. Any questions or concerns regarding these changes may be directed to Dr. Salah Ebrahim in the Cytogenetics Laboratory.
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.
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
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
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.