Trinity Health System Announces In-house COVID-19 Testing

Franciscan University Loans Testing Equipment to Trinity Health System Laboratory

 
April 17, 2020 – Trinity Health System announced today that they have developed an in-house molecular test for the diagnosis of the COVID-19 infection. Up until now, this test was being sent out to a reference laboratory in Pittsburgh. Trinity Health System is the only hospital in the area to offer in-house testing.

“Widespread availability of diagnostic testing is critical in helping identify and control the emergence of this rapidly spreading illness,” said Himanshu Doshi, M.D., Chairman & Medical Director of the Trinity Health System laboratory.  “While our lab has all the necessary state of the art equipment to run the tests, we were limited by lack of availability of the FDA approved testing kits. Therefore we decided to develop an in-house test.”

Beginning Monday April 20, Trinity Health System will be performing the molecular RT-PCR test for detection of COVID-19 virus in the microbiology laboratory located at the West Campus of the health system.

According to Dr. Doshi, “this would not have been possible without the invaluable help from the Franciscan University Professors of Biology, Dr. Daniel Kuebler and Dr. Joseph Pathakamuri.  These two local institutions, Trinity Health System and Franciscan University, came together for the benefit of the community. The test will be run on PCR equipment on loan from Franciscan University, making us the only hospital laboratory in the area that offers in-house testing.”

Validation studies have been completed for the test and Trinity Health System will be applying for the emergency use authorization from the FDA.  The tests will only be performed if patients meet criteria for COVID-19 testing established by the Ohio Department of Health.

Trinity health System runs a full-service, state of the art laboratory which is accredited by the CMS for intermediate and/or high complexity testing. The Trinity Health System laboratory is also accredited by the College of American Pathologists (CAP) and the American Association of Blood Banks (AABB). The laboratory is staffed by 3 physician Pathologists and 84 Laboratory Professionals who conduct nearly one million tests in a calendar year.

 

It is perfect timing for this announcement as next week is National Laboratory Week honoring professionals serving in our Nation’s laboratories.  Scientists across the world are intimately involved with COVID-19 testing and Trinity Health System is proud of the work that our stellar team is conducting in our community.