Parkview Health has obtained lab equipment that it says will reduce the turnaround time for COVID-19 diagnostic tests in the region, including tests from the lab in Parkview’s Bryan location.
A new machine in the lab at Parkview Regional Medical Center — obtained in partnership with the state of Indiana — will allow Parkview to process a high volume of COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests, with most results available in less than 24 hours, according to a Parkview announcement Wednesday.
Parkview Health had previously relied on outside labs for processing COVID-19 tests, with results averaging three days or more, depending on demand. The shorter turnaround time will benefit the region in several ways, including:
• Providers may make better informed care decisions and implement care plans sooner;
• Patients will know sooner if they need to remain quarantined or isolated;
• Contact tracers may identify those who may have been exposed faster.
“Though the Roche cobas 6800 machine was obtained through a partnership with the Indiana Department of Health, it will be used to process COVID-19 tests for all Parkview Health locations, including Parkview Physicians Group – Ohio,” Parkview spokesperson Tami Brigle told The Bryan Times. “This means most results will be available in less than 24 hours for patients in northwest Ohio as well.”
Parkview is one of several health systems working with the Indiana Department of Health to set up labs capable of processing higher volumes of PCR tests for COVID-19, improving testing capacity and turnaround times. As part of the agreement, Parkview will process tests for the state of Indiana as needed, and will offer lab services to other health care providers in the region.
While the Roche machine is capable of processing up to 1,000 tests per day, leaders at Parkview estimate that the lab will run approximately 400 tests per day, based on current demand and availability of testing supplies.
“We are incredibly grateful for the help of (Indiana) Gov. Eric Holcomb, as well as Dr. Kris Box, Dr. Lindsay Weaver and Dr. Sara Blosser with the state Department of Health,” said Jeff Boord, M.D., chief quality and safety officer, Parkview Health. “Due to national demand, we would not have been able to obtain this equipment without the state’s support. We are happy to join their lab network to enable more efficient testing in our region and elsewhere as needed.”
“One of our top priorities throughout this pandemic has been to expand access to testing and reduce the time people spend waiting for their results,” said State Health Commissioner Kris Box, M.D., FACOG. “Our lab testing network is helping to achieve both of those goals by creating Indiana solutions, and we are glad to have Parkview Health as a partner.”