New Lab Equipment Expands Testing & Speeds Results
- April 25, 2022
Brookings Health System’s laboratory recently acquired new diagnostic testing equipment that expands the lab’s capabilities and speeds up results for patients.
“Our new chemistry analyzer, automated syphilis analyzer and nucleic acid extraction system allow our team to work more efficiently,” said Laboratory Director Debra Thomas. “We’re also able to perform additional clinical laboratory tests in-house to help physicians diagnose and treat local patients more quickly.”
The lab’s new chemistry analyzer has expanded testing capabilities from the previous model. New tests Brookings Health can now run include hepatitis, HIV, tumor markers and both male and female fertility hormones. It can also run immunoglobulin tests to measure the level of proteins in the blood related to the immune system, rheumatoid factor tests to help diagnose rheumatoid arthritis or other autoimmune disorders, and valproic acid tests to ensure appropriate therapeutic levels for seizure disorders.
“We used to have to send these test samples to Sioux Falls since our old chemistry analyzer didn’t have the capability to run them,” said Thomas. “Instead of waiting 24 to 48 hours for results, we can now have results back to care providers within two to three hours.”
The laboratory also recently invested in a new automated syphilis analyzer that examines up to 190 blood samples at a time. Using a high-definition digital camera and algorithm, the analyzer can detect if incubated samples are positive or negative for syphilis bacteria. The analyzer only takes 30 minutes to produce results. Brookings Health’s lab team used to send this test to a reference lab that took 24 to 48 hours for results.
The new nucleic acid extraction system (PCR) also reduces manual labor for the laboratory and speeds up test results for gonorrhea, chlamydia and Group B streptococcus. The new system performs either urine or PCR swab testing to quickly and accurately finds DNA or RNA for the specific bacteria in only two hours. Medical laboratory technologists at Brookings Health previously tested for the bacteria by culture, a process that took 72 hours.
Brookings Health System’s laboratory provides the latest technology and tests for accurate and efficient clinical lab results. No matter where a medical provider is located, they can submit orders for their local patient’s lab tests by calling (605) 696-8888. The lab is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. For more information, please visit brookingshealth.org/Lab.
About Brookings Health System
Brookings Health System, located in Brookings, South Dakota, includes a 49-bed hospital, the 79-bed The Neighborhoods at Brookview nursing home, Brookhaven Estates senior living apartments, Yorkshire Eye Clinic & Optical, and medical clinics in Arlington, White and Volga, South Dakota. It is a non-profit, city-owned facility that offers the community a full range of inpatient, outpatient, emergency and extended care services. Brookings Hospital provides local access to doctors in Brookings and offers robotic da Vinci surgery and Mako robotic-arm assisted procedures, making it one of the premier rural community hospitals in South Dakota. For more information about the services offered at Brookings Health System, please call (605) 696-9000 or visit us on the Web at brookingshealth.org.