September 8, 2020 – CommonSpirit Health (Chicago, IL) announced the opening of its Reference Lab, which will more than triple current COVID-19 testing for the IDN’s 137 hospitals and 1000+ care sites. CommonSpirit says that its lab located in Scottsdale, Arizona, will alone increase the country’s COVID-19 test capacity by up to 70,000 tests per week.
CommonSpirit’s Reference Lab will analyze molecular (PCR) COVID-19 diagnostic tests, which detect the genetic material of the virus with specialized laboratory procedures that often aren’t supported by existing lab equipment at care sites. From the time of receipt at the Reference Lab, test results are expected within a maximum of 36 hours and will be incorporated into the patient’s electronic medical record (EMR).
While CommonSpirit’s on-site labs will continue to perform tests for those in the emergency room, same-day surgeries, and inpatients, the Reference Lab will better meet the system’s need to perform more tests a day than its current capacity.