Texas Cardiac Arrhythmia Institute at St. David’s Healthcare Reaffirms its Use of Abbott’s ID NOW COVID-19 Rapid Test
The Texas Cardiac Arrhythmia at St. David’s Healthcare wants to ensure that our testing and treatment of patients is of the highest quality, and the health and safety of our employees and those who come to us for care is our primary concern.
When we observed recent media reports about a non-peer reviewed article that received significant media attention and questioned the effectiveness of Abbott’s ID NOW rapid COVID-19 test, we thought it important to communicate with our communities about our experience with this test, which we continue to use as one tool to diagnose COVID-19 in our hospitals.
Prior to using Abbott’s ID NOW test in our hospitals in April, we conducted internal validations, which exceeded those recommended by the manufacturer. In order to make sure this new tool was of the highest quality before its use, we compared ID NOW to other PCR laboratory platforms. Our validation included the use of nasopharyngeal swab specimens, which we use to test all patients at our hospitals. Our results showed that of the 46 patient specimens that were positive on other platforms, 45 were positive on ID NOW which means a positive correlation of 97.8%. Similarly, of the 58 patient specimens that were negative on other platforms, all 58 were negative on ID NOW, which means a negative correlation of 100%.
“The health and safety of our patients, caregivers and our employees are our highest priority,” said Dr. Andrea Natale, M.D., Executive Medical Director, Texas Cardiac Arrhythmia Institute at St. David’s Medical Center. “We want our community to know that we take great care in evaluating the tools we use to diagnose and treat our patients and have confidence in the continued use of the ID NOW rapid test in our hospitals.”
TCAI will continue to monitor FDA and Abbott guidance and will retest patients if the results don’t match clinical symptoms as we would do in any situation.
We remain diligent in our fight against coronavirus (COVID-19). The precautions we’ve taken and the new protections we’ve put in place make our clinical care facilities one of the safest places possible to receive healthcare at this time. Urgent healthcare needs, including those unrelated to COVID-19, should not be ignored during this time. We are here for you, and we are well-equipped to handle any health concern you may have.
28 May 2020
To our patients:
Like so many of you, we have spent the last several days and weeks learning about the coronavirus (COVID-19) and how it is impacting our world.
The safety of our patients, staff and providers is our utmost concern. We are closely monitoring the current situation and are following guidance from public health officials and government agencies, including the Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization.
We are taking extra steps and precautions to ensure practice cleanliness and safety, and we are instituting additional measures at this time.
For everyone’s safety, we ask all patients who are not feeling well to reschedule their appointment for a later date. This includes anyone with one or more of the following symptoms: fever, chills, cough, and shortness of breath.
If you have an upcoming routine follow up appointment and feel you could push out your appointment date a few weeks, please call our office to reschedule your appointment. We are also offering telemedicine appointments if this is a better option for you.
Main office: (512) 807-3150
We are in this together and can all play a part in keeping each other—our loved ones, friends, and communities—healthy and safe.
In good health,
Texas Cardiac Arrhythmia
What is COVID-19?
COVID-19 is a respiratory illness caused by the new coronavirus.
What are the symptoms?
Most people, especially children and those under 60 with no chronic medical conditions, who contract COVID-19 develop very mild symptoms that include fever, a dry cough, and fatigue. A minority of people will develop more advanced symptoms such as shortness of breath.
The World Health Organization (WHO) found that nasal congestion occurs in only 4.8% of patients and runny nose in almost no one. Some people, usually with additional medical complications, can develop more severe symptoms, including pneumonia.
What are the emergency warning signs and symptoms of COVID-19?
If you develop emergency warning signs for COVID-19, get medical attention immediately.
Emergency warning signs* include:
• Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
• Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
• New confusion or inability to arouse
• Bluish lips or face
*This list is not all inclusive. Please consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning.
Do I need to go to the ER?
No, if you don’t have any emergency warning signs. Call your primary doctor at the first sign of symptoms. This will help limit the spread of the virus in our community. It will also allow emergency departments to care for patients with the most critical needs first.
How can I protect myself and my family?
Everyday preventive measures are effective; the same ones that prevent the spread of colds and the flu:
• Stay home if you are sick. Self-isolation, until your symptoms resolve and up to 14 days helps to prevent spreading, especially avoid contact with those over 60 and/or with additional serious chronic medical conditions
• Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
• Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze. Put your used tissue in a waste basket and wash your hands. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve, not your hands.
• Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
• Practice social distancing by avoiding large crowds.
• Avoid handshakes, hugs, and kisses.
• Maintain at least 6 feet between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
• Avoid non-essential travel.
How important is it to practice social distancing now?
We should be practicing social distancing now that we have known cases in Austin, to minimize the spread of the virus. When we stay away from many people we deprive the virus the opportunity to move from one person to another. What does that mean in everyday actions?
• Stay at home as much as possible.
• Avoid gathering in public places.
• Get your exercise outside rather than in a space with groups of people.
• Take advantage of grocery delivery and pick-up services or shop when it is less crowded. Keep 6 -10 feet away from other people.
• Avoid handshakes, hugs, and kisses.
Social distancing feels awkward and unnatural. We are social beings who need human interaction, so this call to distance ourselves from each other will be difficult. It has proved successful in places like Hong Kong and Singapore where they were able to flatten out the curve, unlike in Italy where it has overwhelmed their healthcare resources. The best we can do is learn from others’ success.
TCA. World leadership deep in the heart of Texas.
A heart out of rhythm needs special care. People from around the world come to Texas Cardiac Arrhythmia for treatment of the most challenging atrial and ventricular heartbeat disorders.
At Texas Cardiac Arrhythmia our specially-trained cardiac electrophysiologists have the expertise to provide care for your condition. Access to physicians whose skill, knowledge and experience makes a critical difference in the lives of thousands of people.
Texas Cardiac Arrhythmia continues to be the leader in all aspects of cardiac electrophysiology.
Your heart health and well-being is our number one priority.
We believe the most important aspects of providing quality care are listening to the needs of our patients and involving the patient in the overall treatment plan.
We will LISTEN and GUIDE you down the best path of health at Texas Cardiac Arrhythmia.