Northwell Health spends $30M in COVID-19 testing so far
The largest health care provider in the state says its invested $30 million in coronavirus testing since the beginning of the pandemic, an investment it says is one of the biggest in the country.
According to Northwell Health Labs, that money went to COVID-19 testing equipment and lab supplies, including automated machines introduced this summer to "ensure both diagnostic and antibody testing will continue as part of a rapid and uninterrupted process in the event of another surge."
Nineteen Northwell hospitals, 52 urgent care centers and more than 800 outpatient facilities across Long Island, New York City and Hudson Valley all rely on the lab for test processing, the company said.
The company also recently bought high-throughput diagnostic testing analyzers, cartridge-type tests, and "wet" antibody chemistry tests. Diverse tests help keep them available to the public, according to the company.
“Our goal has been to deploy at scale as much testing as possible, as quickly as possible, so we were among the first labs to implement, validate and evaluate performance characteristics for most of these tests,” said Dwayne Breining, MD, executive director of Northwell Health Labs. “Early in the pandemic, it was unclear which manufacturer would be able to supply quality testing at scale, so we ran with them all. As various supply chain issues have emerged, maintaining multiple testing platforms has been a successful mitigation strategy.”
Right now the lab is focused on eliminating false positives and developing an algorithm for retesting isolated positives.