Sanford Health can now use a test for COVID-19 with results available in 90 minutes. These rapid tests will be used for the highest priority patients including those who are hospitalized, health care workers and older adults living in long-term care facilities.
Sanford Health in Bismarck, North Dakota, can now use a test for COVID-19 with results available in 45 minutes.
“Bringing rapid results to the most vulnerable patients of this illness is a major step in our battle against this pandemic,” said Chris Meeker, M.D., chief medical officer for Sanford Health in Bismarck. “We are thankful to have so many great people working around the clock to deliver advances like this in these most difficult of times.”
Sanford Health in Fargo, North Dakota, and Sioux Falls, South Dakota, began 90-minute rapid tests earlier this month. Bemidji, Minnesota, Aberdeen, South Dakota, and Bismarck are the most recent Sanford regions to implement the tests. The addition of rapid tests increases Sanford’s testing abilities by 1,500 tests per week.
“For the people up in the north part of our network … those samples will get sent into Fargo, and the Fargo team will report those out. It’s a lot quicker because there’s less travel time to get a sample into a testing lab. That’s the other thing that’s really beneficial,” Sanford Laboratories’ senior executive director Rochelle Odenbrett tells Sanford Health News.
With two total rapid testing machines, the lab can process up to 16 tests at a time in 90 minutes.
Like a domino effect, Odenbrett says this process saves on personal protective equipment and supplies for front line workers as they move patients in and out of isolation quicker through faster test results.
“I think this will really change how we can treat our patients, how we can make sure we’re prioritizing and getting results out to providers in a much quicker manner. We’re very excited to be able to offer this now,” Odenbrett said.
“Bringing rapid results to the most vulnerable patients and those on our front lines of this illness is a major step in our battle against this pandemic,” said Allison Suttle, M.D., chief medical officer for Sanford Health. “We are so thankful to have so many great people working around the clock to deliver advances like this in these most difficult of times.”
If patients are experiencing symptoms including fever, cough and respiratory distress, they should call their provider instead of going directly to their clinic.
Sanford is also offering e-visits for COVID-19 care in Minnesota, Iowa, North Dakota and South Dakota. An e-visit is an online questionnaire about symptoms that patients complete from home. A Sanford provider will review and respond within four hours with a treatment plan or prescription, or instruction to be seen in-person for further evaluation or testing.
- COVID-19 Q&A: Inside the test lab with Rochelle Odenbrett
- Health care heroes: Sanford’s mobile testing teams