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New specimen collection, transport system implemented

In our effort to standardize, streamline and safely move specimens, Gundersen Health System will institute two new clinical microbiology collection and transportation systems effective Oct. 1. The new system is called ESwab™ and Universal Viral Transport (UVT) system.

Quick Information

This change will aid in patient care with better specimen quality by improving microorganism recovery and reduce costs, while making collecting specimens more efficient.

Presently there are multiple collection and transport systems, which is not efficient compared to our new system. In addition, some transport media are in a glass tubes so they cannot be sent through our pneumatic tube station. And, some media (e.g. viral media) must be refrigerated prior to specimen collection to maintain the integrity of the media.

With our new system, media is housed in unbreakable containers, and importantly, no longer needs to be refrigerated prior to specimen collection within new guidelines.

"Our goal is to improve the detection of bacteria and viruses while at the same time reducing the variety of collection devices. Ultimately this will make it easier for clinical departments, increase test sensitivity and reduce the frequency of improperly collected specimens," says Sean Agger, PhD, Anatomic Pathologist and project leader.

ESwab™ collection and transport system maintains viability of aerobic, anaerobic and fastidious bacteria for up to 48 hours at room and refrigerator temperature. This will be beneficial for specimens coming from our regional clinics. ESwab™ will allow us to generate 10 identical aliquots of liquid sample suspension to perform multiple tests from the same specimen.

The UVT collection and transport system maintains viability of viruses and intracellular organisms for up to 48 hours when refrigerated. The system includes a swab for collection in the packaging and can be stored at room temperature before use.

All Gundersen Health System locations that collect microbiology specimens will be impacted by project. Plan to use up current supply and switch to new collection and transport systems as new supplies are ordered.

  • Regular swabs will be used for aerobic and anaerobic cultures including throat cultures, wounds, etc.
  • Mini-tip swab is used to get into sinus tracts and narrow places such as nasopharyngeal cultures.
  • Universal Viral Transport Collection Kits will be used for the storage and transport of viruses and intracellular organisms.
what to expect

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