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New lab equipment increases options; saves time at PVCH
Laboratory personnel at Pawnee Valley Community Hospital display their new equipment. From left to right are: Dominique Hiss, Kristi Engle, Nishka McKenzie and Megan Grandy.

A new piece of laboratory equipment at Pawnee Valley Community Hospital (PVCH) is saving time, while offering more options and high-quality test results, said Kristi Engle, lab supervisor.

The equipment is called an Ortho Vitros XT7600, a chemistry/immunoassay analyzer; it replaced a 9-year-old model.

Examples of chemistry tests include sodium, potassium, creatinine, calcium, cholesterol and uric acid.

Immunoassay tests include: thyroid stimulating hormone; prostate specific antigen; cardiac enzymes; and ferritin, a test used to aid in the diagnosis and treatment of iron-deficiency anemia.

“This new analyzer performs a total of 53 different lab tests,” Engle said. “The total number of patient tests performed by this instrument makes up approximately 70 percent of our volume.”

In addition, the equipment gives the lab the opportunity to expand their test menu by adding new testing options such as Vitamin D and parathyroid tests.

Because of the new analyzer’s added capabilities, the level of care at PVCH is enhanced, Engle noted.

For example, she explained, the previous model depended on a water system to operate. The water was used for the calibrations of tests and calculation of patient results.

“The quality of the water directly correlated to the quality of results,” the lab supervisor commented. “It took additional time, energy and costs to maintain a high level of water quality to ensure accurate patient results.

“Our new analyzer does not require a water system. Removing water from the equation gives us consistent and reliable results without spending the extra time.”

Lab information

The lab is staffed 24/7 to accommodate inpatients, and the Emergency and Outpatient Nursing departments. Outpatient services are available from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays; no appointment is necessary. Local and non-local physician orders are accepted.

In addition, the lab is a drug-screen collection site for the Kansas Department of Transportation, and provides testing for local entities such as long-term-care residences and home-health agencies.

The hospital’s lab is CLIA certified, which ensures quality testing.

Pawnee Valley Community Hospital, 923 Carroll in Larned, is a 25-bed facility, offering many services not typically available in a smaller facility. Included are 24/7 emergency care; acute, skilled and specialized nursing; surgery; high-tech imaging and laboratory tests; wound care; rehabilitation; and sleep and diagnostic center. PVCH Family Medicine provides the full range of family-medicine services; physician-assisted weight loss; and women’s health services. The hospital’s number is 620-285-3161; the clinic’s number is 620-804-6007.