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Provider order to be required for Sparrow COVID-19 testing, effective Monday

November 13, 2020
<p>The exterior of Sparrow Hospital in Lansing, Michigan, on Sept. 23, 2020.</p>

The exterior of Sparrow Hospital in Lansing, Michigan, on Sept. 23, 2020.

Photo by Annie Barker | The State News

Beginning on Monday, Nov. 16, Sparrow Health System patients will now be required to receive a test order through a qualified medical provider or the MySparrow app prior to being administered a COVID-19 test, according to a release Friday. 

This comes following an extraordinary demand for tests and seeks to result in a more efficient and faster process, which allows Sparrow to better monitor volumes and speed up waiting lines, the release said. 

Currently, patients who had not received test orders in advance are required to provide the information or go to the app as they wait, delaying the process, according to the release. The new system will require those without an order to return only after they have received one.

The MySparrow app offers a portal where patients can view test results, ask their doctor questions, request an appointment and more. 

According to the release, Sparrow has become a national leader in COVID-19 testing, performing more than 250,000 COVID-19 tests to date and becoming one of the first hospitals in Michigan to offer tests for inpatients. 

The Frandor drive-thru site alone has processed over 100,000 tests, the release said. 

Moving forward, Sparrow’s St. Lawrence drive-thru testing site will only be used for testing for pre-operational and pre-procedure patients, effective Monday, the release said. All others will be referred to one of the health system’s five other drive-thru testing locations.

Prior to receiving the test, patients must answer questions about their symptoms on the MySparrow app using the COVID-19 Symptom Checker. As soon as results are available, patients will be notified via the app. 

On Tuesday, Ingham County Health Officer Linda Vail addressed the increasing demand for testing, warning there is a need to begin communicating about the appropriate sense of urgency about getting tested. 

With many people seeking tests before attending social gatherings, Vail said they are creating long lines, taxing health care capacity and utilizing resources in inappropriate ways. The turnaround on results from Sparrow that used to be 4-5 hours is now in some cases up to 4-5 days, Vail said.  

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