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 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.
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.
Appropriate Labeling for Shared Specimen – COVID-19 & FLU AB PCR
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.
Outpatient Respiratory Viral Testing
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.
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