Coronavirus: Premier Health announces rapid test availability to test hospitalized patients

MIAMI VALLEY — Premier Health announced its secured a new rapid test for coronavirus within the last 24 hours that should allow for quicker testing in the Miami Valley.

The testing started today and is being done in conjunction with CompuNet Clinical Laboratories.

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"We believe we’ll be able to get same day results on hospitalized patients,” said Premier Health Atrium Medical Center President Dr. Keith Bricking. “That rapid testing is really going to be critical for us to make healthcare decisions immediately and isolate these patients.”

The announcement comes two days after the state ordered hospitals to either send its COVID-19 test samples to hospitals that were doing testing or to the Ohio Department of Health. The order was made after results from private lab testing were taking too long, Gov. Mike DeWine said.

Testing will initially be limited based on the Ohio Department of Health’s Director’s Order issued on April 1, which prioritizes patients who receive the COVID-19 testing.

“CompuNet has been working tirelessly over the past few weeks to bring testing to patients within our hospitals who are suspected of being positive for COVID-19,” said Dr. Ronald Chiu, Medical Director of CompuNet Clinical Laboratories. “This is a game changer for us.

Hospitalized patients and symptomatic health care workers are considered Priority 1 and will be the first group to receive this test.

CompuNet has also been coordinating with the Greater Dayton Area Hospital Association as it relates to the prioritization of patients.

Local test access is expected to shorten turnaround times for test results to 24 to 48 hours for hospitalized patients.

In partnership with the University of Dayton, the Premier Health, Fidelity Health Care, and CompuNet team continues to provide drive-up collection services at UD Arena, one of the longest running collection sites in Ohio.

That collection site generally focuses on outpatients in the community – people who are exhibiting symptoms consistent with COVID-19 but who are not part of a high-risk population.

The collection site complements CompuNet’s new in-house testing capabilities, helping to ensure that any person who suspects he or she might have COVID-19 – whether an inpatient or someone who is self-isolating at home – can have access to testing with a physician’s order and submit a specimen in a safe environment that limits exposure to others.

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