The challenge of responding to the coronavirus pandemic
As states across the country are grappling with the challenge of how to safely reopen, access to reliable coronavirus (COVID-19) testing remains indispensable. Molecular COVID-19 testing—utilizing a method called Real-Time Reverse Transcriptase PCR (rRT-PCR)—was first developed by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and made available to state laboratories in February 2020.
In the weeks that followed, several private companies and healthcare system laboratories developed SARS-CoV-2 assays. To date, nearly 6 million COVID-19 tests have been performed nationwide; however, the demand and need for increased testing capacity continues to build.
Accelerating the pace of coronavirus testing
To aid in efforts that slow the spread of the virus and safeguard the health of the community, Rochester Regional Health Laboratories and ACM Global Laboratories Department of Microbiology worked collaboratively to stand up COVID-19 testing.
The ability to bring testing in-house has vastly increased capacity for the Rochester Regional Health (RRH) System and has significantly shortened turnaround times for obtaining critical test results. When working with third party laboratories, the average collection to results verification time ranged from 4 to 9 days. With in-house testing capabilities, results are now available, on average, in approximately 16 hours. This improvement in turnaround times means that patients promptly receive the quality care they need.
Aiding the local community and neighboring counties
Currently, ACM Global Labs has three different semi-automated COVID-19 molecular test offerings that are approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) that includes: Roche cobas ® 6800 System, DiaSorin Liason MDx® and the BD Max™ System. All deliver high-quality results with run times of less than 4 hours.
Having multiple options for testing enables the reconciliation of inconclusive results from one platform by another if needed. In addition to increasing the lab’s testing capacity, running multiple platforms also protects against potential supply chain shortages when reordering test kits and reagents from different manufactures.
Besides operating the aforementioned platforms, ACM’s partners at RRH Labs recently added the Cepheid Xpert® Xpress SARS-CoV-2 testing system, and on March 14, 2020, were the first in the region to launch the use of a laboratory-developed COVID-19 test. The work needed to implement and validate the assays compatible with these distinct testing platforms was completed swiftly, and COVID-19 testing has been fully operational for several weeks.
Expanding the scope of COVID-19 testing
Widening testing capacity has collectively allowed ACM and RRH Labs to serve our four-county region of approximately 1 million patients in Upstate New York. ACM Global performs testing of inpatient, outpatient, and urgent care patient samples from Rochester General Hospital, while RRH Labs performs tests at 5 different laboratories in the area.
As a whole, our experts have run thousands of COVID-19 tests, supporting effective diagnosis and treatment, conservation of personal protective equipment, and the data to help flatten the COVID-19 curve.
A deep commitment to quality healthcare
It is widely due to the skill and dedication of laboratory professionals that countries have been able to gauge the scale of the coronavirus pandemic. The ability of States to monitor the outbreak is directly tied to testing wide segments of the population. COVID-19 molecular testing is our first defense against slowing the spread of infectious diseases and reducing mortality.
Advances in science have made it possible to readily develop diagnostic tools that aid healthcare professionals as they work to protect patients and their communities. Learn more about molecular testing: The Basic Science Behind COVID-19 Molecular Testing Methods.
Who should seek COVID-19 testing?
Individuals with concerns about the status of their health or the health of a family member should contact their healthcare provider or local public health office for advice about the current CDC guidelines for COVID-19 testing, when to self-quarantine at home, and when to access urgent medical attention. View comprehensive information about COVID-19, provided by Rochester Regional Health.
About our company
ACM Global Laboratories—an affiliate of Rochester Regional Health—is headquartered in Rochester, NY, and is a recognized leader in global clinical trials testing services. We support clinical trials in more than 65 countries and cover a wide range of therapeutic areas. Since 1975, ACM has remained steadfast in our mission to deliver actionable clinical insights that lead to therapies and treatments that provide health, healing and hope to patients around the world.