JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO–LACKLAND, Texas –
The 59th Medical Wing, located at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, recently introduced a new system that can allow doctors to get results in less than an hour.
The Roche Lab in a Tube is a compact molecular diagnostic platform that can be used in doctor's offices, pharmacies, clinics and hospitals to expedite the diagnosing process.
Currently, the 59MDW’s Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center has machines in the lab, Urgent Care Clinic and in the Pediatric Clinic. The system takes 20 minutes for a test result for Flu types A and B, also for strep throat.
Staff Sgt. Tara Wisecup, a medical technician in the UCC, said the system has been beneficial for patients and for other clinicians.
“Administering and processing the test gives the technicians the opportunity to broaden skill sets, and see what the lab does and how to process the tests,” she said.
The patient’s provider has to see a patient and order the test. Wisecup said the UCC averages about 20-30 flu tests a day since January, when the system started at WHASC.
Tech. Sgt. Timothy Simmants, the Non Commissioned Officer in Charge of Laboratory Operations, said the new system helps the Airmen in his shop as well.
“It lessens the workload for the lab, and allows us to provide faster turnaround time for all the other clinics,” he said. “They can run the flu tests in here and free the lab up for other tests.”
The self-contained system eliminates the need to add other reagents and acts as another preventative for cross-contamination with other patient samples. Simmants said the new tests have more than a 99 percent accuracy rate in detecting DNA associated with the flu.
For more information about the 59th MDW, including new 59th Medical Wing Texting Service, visit http://www.59mdw.af.mil/text/.