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Saint Luke’s News: Saint Luke’s Health System to see quicker turnaround on COVID-19 test results with new ability to process tests in-house

March 31, 2020

Saint Luke’s Health System is now able to process COVID-19 tests in-house, allowing for a quicker turnaround on results for Saint Luke’s patients and employees.

Saint Luke’s is receiving a daily allocation of reagent kits – the crucial piece for processing the tests – developed specially for the novel coronavirus by Roche Laboratories, Inc.

“Before this, we might be waiting a couple days to get results or longer, depending on which lab the specimen was sent to. Now, we’ll know within a day or less of whether someone is positive,” said Derek Collins, Saint Luke’s Health System Director of Safety and Emergency Preparedness.

Though these tests have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the FDA has authorized their use under the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) issued. Tests collected across Saint Luke’s Health System will be processed in a lab at Saint Luke’s Hospital of Kansas City.

The quicker turnaround time will allow the health system to better conserve necessary resources, like personal protective equipment (PPE).

“Nationally, PPE is in high demand right now, so we want to conserve the resources we have available,” Collins said. “If we can rule out COVID-19 earlier, then we may not need to use as much PPE for management of that patient.”

It will also speed up the process of community and state reporting to provide a greater understanding of the new disease.

“If we can get results sooner, we can more aptly project what the level of COVID-19 in the community is and have a better picture of where are in the outbreak,” Collins said.

Find more information on COVID-19, how you can help, and Saint Luke’s response.

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