Blue Mountain Hospital District has several ways to order COVID-19 tests, including a rapid test on an Abbott ID NOW machine, as well as, utilizing St. Charles Medical Center and Oregon State Public Health laboratories, according to a press release from Health Information Manager Lori Lane.

As with all other laboratory tests, the results of the rapid COVID-19 test need to be interpreted by trained medical professionals. For example, the Abbott has been shown to miss some positive cases, which is why the providers at BMHD know to not use the results of this analyzer or others solely in their diagnosis. Preliminary studies are showing that the rapid Abbott test catches up to 94% of positive COVID-19 tests, which means they miss about 6%.

If a patient has concerning symptoms, a negative result on a rapid Abbott test would need to be confirmed by another kind of test. However a positive rapid Abbott test can be considered to be correct.

One thing that has impacted the accuracy of the rapid Abbott test is the swab collection. BMHD has five highly trained medical laboratory technicians and one medical laboratory scientist performing the testing, all of whom are ASCP certified. They are also highly familiar with the testing since it is almost identical to the influenza testing that is performed on the ID NOW the district has had for the last two years.

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