Stormont Vail offers rapid testing for emergency patients, hoping to expand

Health Check

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – Stormont Vail Health in Topeka can now find the results of a coronavirus test within one to three hours, however not everyone can take it.

When the coronavirus pandemic hit Kansas, and testing was limited, the healthcare facility’s leaders knew they needed another option.

“We test, probably, 200 to 300 people a day,” said Dr. Clifton Jones, vice president for subspecialty care for Stormont Vail. “Just Stormont Vail Health, our clinics and our hospital, our drive-thru, our respiratory clinic.”

So, they decided to have their laboratory in the hospital begin rapid testing for the coronavirus.

“The biggest advantage to doing them in-house is we will have results the same day, typically within a number of hours at the longest,” Jones said.

The test is the typical deep nasal swab. The accuracy of the results is high due to the scientists in the lab looking for the molecule of the ribonucleic acid (RNA) of the virus. The RNA acts as a messenger for the virus’ DNA.

However, not everyone can receive this test. Currently, it is only used for people who really need it.

This includes people going into emergency surgery, inpatients who are developing symptoms, or patients being transferred to a long-term care facility.

The hospital hopes to eventually be able to make this testing available to all of their inpatients.

“We’re taking steps to proceed on that. I do personally believe we will be able to do that, increase our capacity for in-house testing… probably by December,” Jones said.

Doing the in-house testing ensures patients and staff are safe, so they can prepare with proper treatment and PPE.

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