The lab will be able to process more than 1,000 COVID-19 tests per day, and over the last weekend, since initial validation testing on April 3, the lab had already processed several hundred samples, according to Cortney Boccardi, marketing director at Precision.
“We want to make sure that information is getting back in a timely manner. Our perception, the health care perception and the city perception, is that it is taking an unusually long time to get their samples back when they hear information on the news from doctors,” Boccardi said, adding that Precision prioritizes a 24-hour turnaround once the sample reaches the lab.
She said that turnaround time hinges on volume, so at the moment, Prisma Health is the only health care system they are servicing until Precision can expand production.
“Right now, we want to be able serve our local community, which is really South Carolina, but we know that we will have inquiries from neighboring states,” Boccardi said. “We might hear from Georgia; we might hear from Virginia, and what we want to be able to do is say ‘yes’ to as many laboratories and health care systems in need, but we still want to be able to maintain that one-day turnaround time. So Precision is looking to scale up our capacity to be able to do that so that everybody is getting this test in a timely manner.”
Reagent fluids required to process the tests are still in short supply, but ramped up production of the fluids across the country will soon help cover the shortage, Boccardi said.
Prisma Health representatives also noted that the testing capacity offered by the lab will speed up waiting times, according to a recent news release.
Precision has partnered with Prisma on diagnostic service solutions since 2017.
“Prisma Health values our relationship with Precision Genetics. They are an innovative partner that is making a difference in our ability to care for our patients during the COVID-19 public health crisis,” Dr. Jesse Stafford, senior vice president and chief clinical officer for Prisma Health’s laboratory services, said in the release.