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FilmArray™ Respiratory Panel

Thanks to advanced technology, physicians at Loyola can confirm within an hour whether a patient has one of 20 respiratory illnesses.  Loyola, which has used this technology for two years, is one of only two hospitals in Illinois to use the FDA-approved FilmArray™ Respiratory Panel, which screens for 17 viral and 3 bacterial pathogens. 

With standard technology, it takes several days for a laboratory to obtain infectious disease test results, and then it’s usually testing for just one possible virus or bacteria at a time. It can be very expensive and time-consuming to test for several different types of virus or bacteria.

Faster results can improve patient management, limit the spread of the disease and reduce overall health-care costs.

The panel system also enhances tracking of these illnesses, information which is shared with clinicians and public health officials. Last year Loyola performed 2,437 respiratory panels with 1,187 patients testing positive for one or more respiratory pathogens. Rhinovirus, which causes the common cold, was the No. 1 pathogen detected, accounting for 417 cases, followed by Influenza A virus, 295 cases, and RSV, or Respiratory Syncytial Virus, 268 cases.

Loyola is also a leader in the prevention of influenza. Loyola is in its fourth year of a mandatory flu vaccine requirement for all employees. As part of our mission, we don’t want our staff to pass along infections to our patients.

In addition, Loyola was one of the first hospitals to screen all inpatients for MRSA using similar DNA detection technology. Screening for MRSA, or methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus, has enabled Loyola to prevent more than 200 possible cases of hospital-associated MRSA infections.