Outsourcing Calprotectin Stool Pre-analytics to the Patient’s Home

Jacqui McGuire and Neil Syme, Consultant Clinical Biochemists, Department of Biochemistry, Monklands Hospital

NHS Lanarkshire, to the east of Glasgow, is the third largest NHS Health Board in Scotland. It serves 655,000 people at the Hairmyres, Wishaw and Monklands Hospitals.

Faecal calprotectin testing for the diagnosis and monitoring of inflammatory bowel diseases is conducted at the Monklands Hospital. Jacqui McGuire and Neil Syme, Consultant Clinical Biochemists from the Biochemistry Department at Monklands explain how their testing has evolved over recent years.

“We perform around 400 faecal calprotectin tests a month across NHS Lanarkshire. Initially, when we first introduced the assay we used the BÜHLMANN fCAL® ELISA and CALEX extraction device, running the assays on a Dynex DS2 ELISA processor. As the volume of tests increased we switched to the BÜHLMANN fCAL® turbo assay on our Roche platform, in the spring of 2021. Since we were already using the CALEX® extraction method, this transferred to the turbo assays, retaining consistency and benefiting from the much easier work flow with the turbo method.”

Challenges of the Pandemic

“With the onset of COVID we were faced with a number of challenges to our testing processes. With concern regarding the risk of infection from stool samples, we didn’t have adequate access to bio-safety cabinets to handle our patient samples for the extraction process. The only way we could continue the service was if the patients could take their own samples directly in the CALEX devices. So, we implemented a process to outsource the calprotectin pre-analytical sample collection and preparation to the patients at home.”

Click here to read the full Case Study from Leading Edge 2022 Issue 1

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