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NVRH Now Equipped to Run COVID-19 Tests in-house

by | Mar 5, 2021 | In the News

Two new machines decrease turnaround time for in-house patients and patients with scheduled procedures

ST. JOHNSBURY, VT (March 3, 2021) – Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital (NVRH) is excited to announce that the DiaSorin Simplexa Analyzer, which analyzes lab specimens for COVID-19, is now up and running. This analyzer helps patients who are receiving care within the hospital and those who have scheduled appointments by decreasing their wait times to as little as three hours.

With the addition of the DiaSorin Simplexa platform, NVRH now has two highly sensitive PCR based testing platforms. Having two separate platforms for COVID-19 testing helps ensure access to reliable and timely testing for patients receiving care at NVRH. It also reduces the risk of running out of tests completely.

“Laboratories across the country have been dealing with shortages in testing kits and supplies for multiple different tests, including COVID-19,” NVRH Laboratory Medical Director Jason Brazelton, MD said. “These supply chain interruptions significantly impact testing capacity, access to testing, and they can change from week to week with little warning.”

The increased COVID-19 testing capacity will allow NVRH to shorten the pre-procedure processing and waiting period significantly. Prior to the DiaSorin Simplexa Analyzer, patients who had scheduled procedures at NVRH would have had their testing performed at reference laboratories. Due to the time required for specimen transportation between multiple facilities, these tests would have been collected between five and seven days ahead of the procedure. The patient would then be required to quarantine.

“This is great news for patients scheduling appointments and for our patients in-house,” NVRH Director of Med/Surg Sharon Mallet said. “It allows us to make faster decisions around treatment and recovery while also improving the care and safety of both patients and staff at the bedside.” 

The DiaSorin Simplexa Analyzer joins NVRH’s original COVID-19 PCR platform, the Cepheid GeneXpert, which was purchased thanks to the generous support of a local donor. These two analyzers complement each other well, in that together they give clinical staff rapid results and they increase routine testing.

“I would like to thank the NVRH Hospital Administration for their support in bringing in this second platform,” NVRH Director of Laboratory Services Jeanne McBride said. “Their attention to this important issue and their support was imperative to making this happen. Also, I would like to thank the laboratory staff for all of their work bringing on two new PCR testing platforms in only a few months. Their hard work, dedication and attention to detail during this process has been amazing!”

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