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Carteret Health Care Invests in New Technology

Patients at Carteret Health Care will benefit from new laboratory technology for earlier detection of various types of infections. Carteret Health Care has invested in this innovative technology, the ePlex system to increase testing capacity for SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) and to allow for earlier detection of bloodstream infections, known as sepsis. This will provide early identification of organisms that can lead to sepsis and will also provide earlier diagnosis to begin appropriate treatment for both.

“Carteret Health Care continues to invest in new technology in an effort to provide the highest level of care for our community and patients,” stated Harvey Case, Carteret Health Care President. “Placing this innovative equipment in the hands of our laboratory and staff will save lives for sepsis patients and aid in the containment for coronavirus.”

The new equipment will expand Carteret Health Care’s current COVID-19 testing capabilities and allow for advanced testing inside Carteret’s own laboratory. Patients will have quicker results by not sending testing outside the medical center to reference labs. This testing will be in addition to the Cepheid GeneXpert platform currently being used to perform in-house COVID-19 testing. Both are highly complex molecular assays designed to detect COVID-19 nucleic acid in nasopharyngeal swabs and must be operated by highly-trained laboratorians.

Beyond the GenMark ePlex system bolstering COVID-19 testing, sepsis patients will be provided with earlier identification of a multitude of microbiological organisms and their possible resistance genes. Armed with this valuable information, providers can deliver more precise treatment to patients. Sepsis is a common, costly, and deadly disease that affects over 30 million people each year across the globe and results in a death every 3-4 seconds. Sepsis can be caused by a broad number of pathogens including gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria as well as a number of fungal pathogens. Through traditional methods these organisms and their resistance profiles can take multiple days to identify with a broad variance in time to result, significantly impacting time to optimal therapy.

It is estimated that 20-30% of patients receive ineffective initial antibiotic therapy and the mortality rate for these patients increases every hour that effective antibiotics are delayed. Treatment decisions for sepsis will occur days earlier than with conventional methods. Within a few short hours of blood culture bottle positivity, the ePlex Blood Culture Identification panel (BCID) aids in the identification of bacterial and fungal organisms as well as antibiotic resistance genes.

The streamlined workflow and decreased time to result offered by the advanced technology of the ePlex system allows results to be reported to healthcare providers for potentially more efficient patient care, better antimicrobial stewardship, improved patient outcomes and high patient satisfaction.

Carteret Health Care is a proud member of the Mayo Clinic Care Network and Carteret’s laboratory is nationally recognized by the Accreditation Committee of the College of American Pathologists for their commitment to high-quality patient care and accomplishments. For more information, go to