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Laboratory continues expanding molecular testing

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HANCOCK – In its effort to continue offering the latest technology and best service to patients, the Portage Health Laboratory has added the BD Probetec ET to its toolset.

ProbeTec“This is cutting edge technology,” said Richard Kangas, Portage Health lab director. “We’re continuing our focus on increasing our line of molecular testing.”

The new machine allows Portage Health to do testing for Chlamydia and Gonorrhea right on campus. Previously, these tests were done in Marquette.

“This is a huge money saver for us and our community,” said Kangas. “We are able to bring this test in house, and it will pay itself off within six months. We won’t be sending out, and we’re able to bring more work in from other area hospitals and clinics.”

The in-house testing will save approximately $90,000 a year.

“More importantly for patients, we will save a lot of time,” said Petio Kotov, pathologist with the Medical Labs of Marquette. “We can have diagnostics done within two or three hours if needed, instead of waiting until the next day, or longer.”

Kotov works full time in Hancock, and is the area’s only full time pathologist.

“It’s good to know these things as soon as possible,” Kotov said. “We’re continuing to work as hard as we can to offer our patients the most convenient results we can.”

Portage Health first got into molecular diagnostics in 2010 with the addition of the GeneXpert machine. Along with testing for Chlamydia and gonorrhea, Portage Health also does in-house molecular testing for clostridium difficle, MRSA on blood culture, wounds and for surveillance.

“We can now do more than 95 percent of tests in house,” said Kangas. “When 75 percent of a patient’s medical record is dependent on those tests, it’s important that we keep them here, get them done as quickly as possible.”

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