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Our Lab continues to use leading technology to improve patient outcomes. There are four instruments at VMH that together, can identify 53 different organisms and 10 different antibiotic-resistance genes with the most common panel being the new Mini Respiratory Panel which identifies COVID-19, Influenza A & B, RSV and Rhinovirus.

Our Lab Continues to Use Leading Technology to Improve Patient Outcomes

by Caty Bruening, Lab Manager

Our Lab Staff!

Top photo includes, from left to right, Mary Jo Meyer, MLT; Megan Rathbun, MLT; Erica Mannette, MLS; Beth Fitzpatrick, MT; Karli Rains, Lab Assistant; and Robin Gray, MLS.   

Bottom photo includes Kelsey Weymiller, MLT; Donna Jean Wood, MLT; Caty Bruening, MLS, Lab Manager; Jenna Collins, MLT (in back); Marie Loven, MLS (in front) and Michelle Benda, MLT.

In the world of Medical Laboratory Science, it doesn’t get more accurate than molecular technology. Recent advances have also made these technologies more efficient and more affordable. At Veterans Memorial Hospital Lab, molecular technology is used to identify infections by using DNA and/or RNA extraction.

There are 4 instruments at VMH that together, can identify 53 different organisms and 10 different antibiotic-resistance genes. The most common panel that is performed is the new Mini Respiratory Panel, composed of COVID-19, Influenza A & B, RSV, and Rhinovirus.

Molecular testing not only takes less time than classic testing, but it is also more sensitive because it takes less organism to produce a positive result. These together mean quicker treatments for those with certain infections.

For those samples that don’t yet have a feasible molecular testing platform (like urines) VMH Lab Techs continue to perform traditional cultures to identify pathogens.

The Veterans Memorial Hospital Lab continues to offer community wellness testing at a low upfront cost, to help accommodate individuals that may forgo these important tests due to the cost of high health insurance premiums and deductibles.   The following blood tests are offered at a low, individual, out-of-pocket rate:  Cholesterol, Blood Sugar/Diabetes, Thyroid, Kidney Function, Uric Acid, Hemoglobin, Calcium, Liver Function, Vitamin D, Prostate Health, Potassium and Sodium.

The Lab is open in the very early morning for convenience for those needing fasting labs, allowing them to be completed before work.

Patients are encouraged to ASK their provider if their labs can be drawn and tested locally for their own convenience even when seeing a specialist out of town.   The Veterans Memorial Hospital Laboratory has the ability to draw and locally run many of the lab tests regularly ordered by physicians.  If a test is ordered that can’t be run at the local hospital, the Lab can draw the blood and send the sample for more advanced testing, saving the patient valuable time and money. INR testing can also be completed by the hospital’s Lab.

For more information, please call the Laboratory at Veterans Memorial Hospital at 563-568-3411.