EvergreenHealth Opens New Molecular Laboratory to Support COVID-19 Testing
Kirkland, Wash. – EvergreenHealth held the grand opening of its new in-house molecular testing laboratory on October 15. The new lab will support EvergreenHealth’s non-urgent COVID-19 testing needs and will increase testing output for the health system by more than 270 tests per day, making COVID-19 testing more readily available to Kirkland and the surrounding Eastside community.
The new lab will use Applied Biosystems technology (ABI) in conjunction with its current testing platform, Cepheid GeneXpert. Together these two systems will be able to run more than 300 COVID-19 tests per day and deliver results to patients within approximately 24 hours. Prior to introducing the ABI technology, the lab was able to process between 20 and 30 tests per day.
“I’m incredibly proud of our dedicated team, who in just 10 short weeks was able to open our new in-house COVID-19 testing site,” said Troy Harrell, Manager of Lab Technology Operations & Quality. “Expanding access to accurate, timely COVID-19 testing is critical to local and regional prevention efforts – and with this innovative technology, we will more efficiently and effectively serve our community, as we navigate the COVID-19 pandemic together.”
Testing with ABI technology is performed in batches of up to 94 patient specimens at a time. Typically, a single testing batch takes a few hours to complete, which includes specimen prep, RNA extraction, PCR amplification and data analysis—all of which are essential to providing accurate and comprehensive test results. The ABI system can perform up to three batches per day.
While the new molecular lab will solely be dedicated to COVID-19 testing needs for the time being, the technology will be instrumental in improving testing capabilities for a wide variety of infectious diseases, cancer markers, genetic abnormalities and much more for the Eastside community.
Learn more about EvergreenHealth’s Laboratory Services.