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Optimization of Turnaround Time for Group A Streptococcus PCR.


ABSTRACT: The use of some nucleic acid amplification tests (NAATs) for the diagnosis of group A Streptococcus (GAS) pharyngitis allows laboratories to adopt single-tiered testing without reflex culture. However, centralization may delay the delivery of actionable information to the bedside, particularly in the outpatient setting. We describe two novel workflows at our institution and their effect on in-lab turnaround time (TAT) at a tertiary care microbiology lab. Laboratory records were extracted, and relevant data were analyzed after the implementation of qualitative in vitro diagnostic testing for GAS with the Xpert Xpress Strep A assay, performed using the GeneXpert Infinity-48s. Workflow optimization steps studied included: (i) direct specimen submission to the microbiology laboratory via the pneumatic tube system and (ii) autoverification of GAS NAAT results in the laboratory information system. Between April 2018 and October 2018, 2,595 unique specimens were tested for GAS by PCR. Of these, 2,523 were included in the final analysis. Linear regression established that the total in-lab TAT was significantly reduced by direct specimen submission to the microbiology laboratory, autoverification, and processing during the night shift. We describe two workflow optimization methods that reduced the in-lab TAT for GAS NAAT. Although microbiology labs historically use manual processes, the advent of total laboratory automation and the adoption of on-demand NAATs will allow for more streamlined processing of microbiology specimens. It may be beneficial to consider instrument interfacing and specimen processing optimization during the early phases of implementation planning for NAATs in the microbiology laboratory.

PROVIDER: S-EPMC6711925 | BioStudies |

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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