Is Your Laboratory Flexible Enough for a Pandemic?
The best way to be ready for COVID-19 is to be ready for anything
Andrew Jaeger | | Opinion
Is your laboratory prepared to handle the COVID-19 pandemic? The vast majority of laboratories have been seriously thinking about and making plans for a “pandemic situation” for some time, after a surge of renewed interest during the recent Ebola outbreak. However, labs typically need space, staff, and funds to implement their plans – all of which are in short supply. There always seem to be more pressing demands on hospitals’ and health systems’ limited funding: patient rooms, operating rooms, imaging equipment, emergency department treatment bays, nurses, and more. Another barrier to laboratory expansion is that the equipment and analyzers specifically purchased to provide rapid response testing in a pandemic situation sit idle when they are not needed – and must therefore be revalidated and certified before they can be brought into service. Often, they require unique reagents whose limited shelf life means that they expire before they are needed and must then be restocked.
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