Indiana Department of Health, Parkview Health partner to increase speed of COVID-19 testing in region

FORT WAYNE, IND. – Sept. 9, 2020 – Parkview Health is joining hospitals and health systems across the state as part of the Indiana Department of Health’s lab testing network. In partnership with the state, Parkview has obtained lab equipment that will reduce the turnaround time for COVID-19 diagnostic tests in the region. 

A new Roche cobas® machine in the lab at Parkview Regional Medical Center will allow the health system to process a high volume of COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests, with most results available in less than 24 hours.

Parkview Health had previously relied on outside labs for processing COVID-19 tests, with results averaging three days or more, depending on demand. The shorter turnaround time will benefit the region in several ways: 

  • Providers may make better informed care decisions and implement care plans sooner.
  • Patients will know sooner if they need to remain quarantined or isolated.
  • Contact tracers may identify those who may have been exposed faster. 

Parkview is one of several health systems working with the Indiana Department of Health to set up labs capable of processing higher volumes of PCR tests for COVID-19, improving testing capacity and turnaround times for all Hoosiers. As part of the agreement, Parkview will process tests for the state as needed, and will offer lab services to other healthcare providers in the region.  

“We are incredibly grateful for the help of Gov. Eric Holcomb, as well as Dr. Kris Box, Dr. Lindsay Weaver and Dr. Sara Blosser with the state Department of Health,” said Jeff Boord, M.D., chief quality and safety officer, Parkview Health. “Due to national demand, we would not have been able to obtain this equipment without the state’s support. We are happy to join their lab network to enable more efficient testing in our region and elsewhere as needed.”

“One of our top priorities throughout this pandemic has been to expand access to testing and reduce the time people spend waiting for their results,” said State Health Commissioner Kris Box, M.D., FACOG. “Our lab testing network is helping to achieve both of those goals by creating Indiana solutions, and we are glad to have Parkview Health as a partner.”

While the Roche machine is capable of processing up to 1,000 tests per day, leaders at Parkview estimate that the lab will run approximately 400 tests per day, based on current demand and availability of testing supplies. 

COVID lab testing

COVID lab testing

As part of the Indiana Department of Health’s lab testing network, Parkview Regional Medical Center received a Roche cobas® 6800 in August and began processing COVID-19 tests on Sept. 1.