We Are Innovating: Faster COVID-19 Testing Happening at Elliot Health System


Around the world, it’s a race to get quick and accurate results for COVID-19 tests. Now Elliot Health System is leading by example with its Cepheid testing system, an analyzer that provides rapid and definitive results within 1 hour.

“Molecular testing in community hospitals to diagnose infectious diseases in patients has been a game-changer, as it provides results within hours as opposed to days,” Sandy Moreau, Director of Lab Services said.

The hospital has received limited tests at this time, as manufacturers’ ramp up production of testing kits. As a result, we are currently processing approximately 25 tests per day, targeting inpatients and emergency department patients that are symptomatic. The lab hopes to expand this testing, as more cartridges become available.

On average, it takes the New Hampshire Public Health Laboratories up to 48 hours to get COVID-19 test results. The Cepheid analyzer allows results in a fraction of that time, within 45 minutes for a positive or negative result to come back.

“This has allowed patients to be properly triaged within our health system. Whether they’re coming through the ED or on a nursing unit, this testing aids us in the movement of patients to the correct floor and ultimately reduces the use of extra PPE,” Moreau explains.

She says the lab at Southern New Hampshire Medical Center is launching two different COVID-19 testing platforms in the coming days.

Thank you to the Lab Department for innovating during these challenging times!