Covid-19 Testing At NVRH On Site

ST. JOHNSBURY-"This allows us to do testing for covid, in house, right here at the hospital," Chief Medical Officer, Michael Rousse explained. As he is one of Northern Vermont Regional Hospitals Doctors that has been working closely with their new high tech machine called the DiaSorin. The DiaSorin allows the hospital to receive covid-19 testing results for patients after just less than three hours of them getting tested.

This new machine has been helping the hospital with on site testing. While before they had to send testing samples up to UVM or the Vermont State Lab. The Machine allows the hospital to do up to eight tests at a time, doing about three runs a day. "It gives us more flexibility for our pre-op patients who are having procedures, they now don't have to wait as long. They can spend less time quarantining, prior to their procedure," Dr. Rousse explained.

The hospital had some choices to make when it came to picking out their new covid-19 analyzer. Making sure they made the right decision, as they had some issues with their previous covid-19 testing platform. "We did get one analyzer, but it was very limited. We worked with some hospitals in Vermont that felt we needed a second platform," Director of Laboratory Services, Jeanne McBride explained.

McBride explains that the first analyzer was only able to accommodate one or two tests at a time. But the hospital heard that the DiaSorin had a good reputation among other hospitals. "But this particular platform has been reliable, and has the ability to get what you need to do to get the tests," Dr. Rousse said. When looking for this kind of technology the hospital looks for levels of sensitivity in the machine. Looking to see if the machine performed PCR testing, instead of rapid antibody testing.

"This company pretty much promised us they wouldn't send us an analyzer if they didn't have the test-reagents we needed to run. So that was another big factor in deciding on this analyzer as well," McBride explained.

Rousse explains that with this new machine there is less chance of mistakes and mislabels. "It is less likely that there is going to be less errors and admissions. So we are hopeful that this is going to make it a lot smoother." The hospital has already started using the analyzer, introducing it to staff on February 22nd.

"Now that we have gone live with it, the staff has gotten the hang of it. It requires a lot more technique, more than a lot of tests we do in house. But we are running, and depending on the circumstances we might run an extra batch or two depending on who we need to test," McBride said. The hospital looks forward to the benefits of this machine, making faster decisions around treatment and recovery care.