New equipment speeds tests to improve patient care

Published 10:33 am Monday, June 26, 2017

AHOSKIE – The medical laboratory at Vidant Roanoke-Chowan Hospital has a new piece of equipment called the GeneXpert system that has reduced the turnaround time for testing hospital patients for serious infections.

The new equipment was purchased through a grant from the Cannon Foundation, Concord, NC.

“We have reduced the time for tests that used to take two to three days (to grow an organism) to less than two hours,” explains Victoria Squires, MLS, MLT (ASCP), lab manager.  “The new equipment detects pieces of DNA to give faster results and can detect serious infections such as MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus).”

This means fewer patients have to be put in ‘seclusion’ rooms and clinicians receive test results much faster, according to the lab manager.  Faster detection of infections is part of the hospital’s infection control plan to reduce the number of serious infections patients have while in the hospital.

The Cannon Foundation is an independent foundation established in 1943 by Charles A. Cannon, president and chairman of Cannon Mills Company for more than 50 years.

For more information about the hospital’s services, contact Vidant Roanoke-Chowan Hospital Office of Community Health, at 209-3151.