Lab Matters Winter 2017 | Page 35

member spotlight
Lab technician Kelly Scranton stains a pollen and mold slide
Microbiologist An Nguyen reads a urethral Gram stain slide under light microscope Kelly Scranton , Hyder Aljanabi and An Nguyen in the PHDMC STAT Lab
retired . The father of three boys is again enrolled at Wright State University , this time working towards an MPH degree . When not spending time at PHDMC , school or home , Aljanabi uses his language skills to translate for Arabicspeaking refugees at area clinics .
In addition to Aljanabi , the PHDMC laboratory employs a full time microbiologist and a part time laboratory technician .
Funding for the laboratory is provided through third-party insurance payers , self-pay clients based on a sliding scale , and support from the county ' s Human Services Levy .
The moderate complexity laboratory processes about 15,000 specimens per year . Tests include gram staining for gonorrhea ; the rapid plasma Reagin serological test for syphilis ; rapid HIV screening ; and wet mounts for bacterial vaginosis , trichomonas and yeast infections . Specimens needing tests for herpes , chlamydia / GC or confirmatory testing for syphilis are sent to a commercial reference laboratory and those needing confirmatory HIV testing are referred to the Ohio Public Health Laboratory in Reynoldsburg . Although rarely used , the laboratory has capability to perform darkfield microscopy on specimens from patients presenting with the characteristic , active syphilis chancre . Since darkfield analysis is considered diagnostic for Treponema pallidum , patients can receive immediate treatment , if needed .
• The addition of in-house Hepatitis C testing , beginning in 2017 .
• Advocacy to assure access to chlamydia / gonorrhea testing for all PHDMC patients . Although the Ohio Department of Health ’ s infertility prevention program covers the cost of such testing on urethral and cervical swab specimens , it does not pay for testing on rectum or throat swab specimens , which come mainly from LGBTQ patients . The cost of these tests — which are referred to a commercial laboratory under contract to the Ohio Department of Health — is now covered by the health department ' s revenue .
The main challenge , says Aljanabi , is the current cramped laboratory space . “ Otherwise , we are a happy crew .”
• To institute quality management systems and maintain CLIA compliance .
• To stay connected with the state and national laboratory networks . “ That ’ s why we joined APHL ,” said Aljanabi . “ If there are emerging outbreaks , we will get notified and can discuss issues and get questions answered . It has been important to me as laboratory coordinator to stay connected to my network of peers .”
• To add more services to the laboratory ’ s test menu . “ I ’ m open to anything . That ’ s our role : to help the community .”
• To have a successful move next year .
In addition to its on-site analytical services , the laboratory oversees six CLIAwaived testing sites : three WIC clinics , two HIV outreach clinics and PHDMC ’ s Addiction Services Clinic .
Success Stories
• Providing input into the design of the new laboratory . Laboratory staff had several meetings with architects and interior designers from the Ohio-based App Architects . Among the improvements in the new space — tentatively slated for occupancy in December 2017 — are an extra exit , additional lighting , better plumbing for the autoclave and additional space that will enable an expanded service menu .
Laboratory coordinator Hyder Aljanabi prepares a RPR syphilis test
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Winter 2017 LAB MATTERS 33