Dear Colleagues,

We wanted to provide you with an update on our health care system’s current testing capacity and what we are doing to expand that capacity.

As you know, there has been a nationwide shortage of test kits for COVID-19, restricting our ability to care for our patients, health care professionals and staff and to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.

This month, responding to the urgent unmet need for more widely available testing, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted authorization of laboratory developed tests, opening the door for laboratories within the Partners system to develop in-house solutions for testing patient samples. Taking an additional step, the FDA began allowing for testing of patient samples once an internal validation study was performed by our individual laboratories and prior to FDA validation.

The scientific and technical expertise within the Partners system, the leadership of our pathology departments and the dedication and perseverance of our collective laboratory, molecular testing and infectious diseases personnel have allowed us to develop validated tests expeditiously with a rapid turn-around (results reported within 24 hours).

Having initiated these tests, our next goal is to increase our throughput capacity, which currently stands at roughly 150 tests per day. To meet the growing demands being placed on our health care system, we have initiated vital partnerships with several large diagnostic companies who have agreed to send us kits that are compatible with the analytical platforms already in use across Partners. Upon receiving these kits over the next weeks, we believe we will be able to significantly increase capacity for COVID-19 in-house testing of our patients and staff in order to meet the needs of our current Partners-wide criteria for testing.

These are exceptionally trying times, and our laboratory members have been working around-the-clock to bring these efforts to fruition and thus deserve our sincerest thanks. Our test was developed and validated in record time, and with the dedication and expertise that is a trademark of Partners HealthCare.

Jeffrey Golden, MD
Chair, Department of Pathology
Brigham and Women's Hospital

David Louis, MD
Chief, Department of Pathology
Massachusetts General Hospital

Eric S. Rosenberg, MD
Director, Clinical Microbiology Laboratory
Massachusetts General Hospital

Neal Lindeman, MD
Director, Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory
Brigham and Women's Hospital

Manfred Brigl, MD
Director, Clinical Microbiology Laboratory
Brigham and Woman’s Hospital

Ravi Thadhani, MD, MPH
Chief Academic Officer
Partners HealthCare