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SLV Health Labs Mark Improvements

What’s going on at the SLV Health laboratories and pathology? Serving the SLV from three locations, they have been busy! Labs are located at the Regional Medical Center in Alamosa, the Stuart Ave Clinic in Alamosa, and at Conejos County Hospital. With new and more efficient equipment, their services are accurate and efficient, which are two “patient pleasers.” Here is a quick list of some highlights.
Testing volume has doubled in the last 10 years.
In 2022, the labs tested 10,460 respiratory samples.
In the past three years, molecular tests have more than doubled to over 15,000.
Pathology case volumes have increased steadily since 2019.
At the RMC, new testing has received good reviews from our patients who used to leave the SLV, such as for fertility treatments and other panels. Turnaround times are shorter thanks to the new tests added for hormones.
A broader testing menu is now available thanks to the replaced molecular analyzer.
A new osmometer helps the hospitalist teams better evaluate renal issues. A new H pylori breath test analyzer that was added is quick and efficient.
A new cryostat microtome helps pathology view frozen sections and the tissue processor was upgraded.

lab testing
The future looks bright for the patients being served by the SLV Lab and Pathology departments! There will be continual upgrades to equipment and testing. Currently, they are validating a Fentanyl and Tramadol testing upgrade. These additions and improvements help reduce the number of tests sent to an outside reference lab and shorten the wait time for results.
Not only is the lab investing in new technologies but they are also focused on the workforce, too. Currently, four lab members are in Medical Laboratory Technician (MLT) programs, with two of them supported by SLVH. In November, the SLVH Lab will proctor a student coming to the area on her rotation. One of the MLTs from the SLVH lab is enrolled at Adams State to earn a bachelor's degree to become a Medical Laboratory Scientist.
SLVH Labs partnered with Otero Junior College to have students perform their course lab work at SLV Health. They are supervised by the Conejos County Hospital lab supervisor, Myra Aquino. The SLVH lab director, Brent Lehto, serves on the advisory board for the MLT program at OJC.  Dr. Shuldberg is the Pathologist at SLV Health.  He and Brent agreed, that the lab, being a 24/7 service, is like the backbone of the hospital. The techs and scientists on their teams are passionate and dedicated to accuracy and efficiency. "We love what we do," remarked Lehto. "We work with very sophisticated instruments and perform hundreds of tests each year. We know that what we do makes a difference in the lives of our patients."