BayCare Provides Access to Rapid Testing for COVID-19 Patients
Clearwater, Fla., (April 8, 2020) – BayCare Health System is providing access to rapid testing for COVID-19 patients, starting Thursday (April 9). The new option will greatly reduce the time it takes BayCare hospitals to diagnose patients, enhancing care amid the growing novel coronavirus pandemic.
The tests, recently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, are made available through Abbott Laboratories. Patients will be able to receive positive results in five minutes and negative results in 13 to 15 minutes.
“We’re thrilled to make this rapid test available to our inpatients across the system,” said Nishant Anand, MD, chief medical officer for BayCare. “This allows us to test more people and provide faster results for those that need it most.”
BayCare has deployed the rapid test equipment and kits at hospitals and laboratories. The system is currently going through the test’s validation process to ensure they are valid and accurate. The tests will be available to patients on April 9.
“As testing supply continues to be an issue, we’re currently making this test available to patients admitted to our hospitals who are most at risk,” said Dr. Anand. “We’ll continue to expand access as more testing becomes available.”
BayCare is working to adopt other rapid testing solutions as well. Soon, BayCare expects to have a one-hour test developed by Cepheid, which was recently approved by the FDA.
Before these options became available, BayCare has been able to run about 170 in-house tests for critically ill patients with COVID-19. Results for those tests would come back in a day. BayCare has also tested thousands of patients for COVID-19 through various drive-thru sites. For these sites, BayCare continues to send specimens to private laboratories for processing. Results for those tests now take less than a week.
For more information, visit BayCareNewsroom.org.
About BayCare Health System
BayCare is a leading not-for-profit health care system that connects individuals and families to a wide range of services at 15 hospitals and hundreds of other convenient locations throughout the Tampa Bay and central Florida regions. Inpatient and outpatient services include acute care, primary care, imaging, laboratory, behavioral health, home care, and wellness. Our mission is to improve the health of all we serve through community-owned, health care services that set the standard for high-quality, compassionate care. For more information, visit www.BayCare.org.