Premier Health, CompuNet Launch COVID-19 Testing for Hospitalized Patients

DAYTON, Ohio (April 3, 2020) – Starting Friday, April 3, Premier Health in conjunction with CompuNet Clinical Laboratories will offer local testing for hospitalized patients for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). 

CompuNet has completed validation of test kits which were developed by DiaSorin Molecular, LLC. Recently, DiaSorin received FDA emergency use authorization for their Simplexa™ COVID-19 Direct kit, which detects severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the virus causing COVID-19, directly from nasopharyngeal swab specimens.

“CompuNet has been working tirelessly over the past few weeks to bring testing to patients within our hospitals who are suspected of being positive for COVID-19,” said Dr. Ronald Chiu, Medical Director of CompuNet Clinical Laboratories. “This is a game changer for us. By testing at CompuNet’s core lab, COVID-19 test results will be delivered sooner to providers within the hospital setting, allowing for better and efficient triage of patients, early medical intervention, as well as better allocation of resources, including personal protective equipment.”

Testing will initially be limited based on the Ohio Department of Health’s Director’s Order issued on April 1, which prioritizes patients who receive the COVID-19 testing. Hospitalized patients and symptomatic health care workers are considered Priority 1 and will be the first group to receive this test. CompuNet has also been coordinating with the Greater Dayton Area Hospital Association as it relates to the prioritization of patients. Local test access is expected to shorten turnaround times for test results to 24 to 48 hours for hospitalized patients.

CompuNet will offer two separate tests for Priority 1 patients. Clinicians may order either a respiratory panel that tests for multiple viruses and COVID-19, or they may order the standalone COVID-19. By offering the respiratory panel, clinicians can identify if the patient is also suffering from a different respiratory virus.

“We are excited to be able to bring this testing to our region’s inpatient population,” says Ike Northern, CompuNet System Technical Director of Infectious Diseases and Microbiology. “Our goal since the beginning has been to provide access to the most vulnerable COVID-19 patients and we’ve worked tirelessly over the past few weeks to make this happen.”

In partnership with the University of Dayton, the Premier Health, Fidelity Health Care, and CompuNet team continues to provide drive-up collection services at UD Arena, one of the longest running collection sites in Ohio. That collection site generally focuses on outpatients in the community – people who are exhibiting symptoms consistent with COVID-19 but who are not part of a high-risk population. The collection site complements CompuNet’s new in-house testing capabilities, helping to ensure that any person who suspects he or she might have COVID-19 – whether an inpatient or someone who is self-isolating at home –  can have access to testing with a physician’s order and submit a specimen in a safe environment that limits exposure to others.

“I could not be prouder of the CompuNet teams who have devoted countless hours toward providing access to coronavirus testing,” says Teresa Williams, Chief Operating Officer at CompuNet. “Our teams working at the UD collection site and our technical team who worked to bring up COVID-19 testing in record time have demonstrated the importance that we place on serving our community.” 

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