Quest Diagnostics' new transplant support services aim to expedite test results, offer at-home lab draws

Quest Diagnostics recently unveiled a suite of advanced diagnostics and support services designed to broaden access to lab tests for transplants. 

Quest hopes to improve testing compliance among patients by making the testing more accessible. Its Advanced Specialized Transplant Services now include customized educational resources for patients, expedited transport and processing of tests and 5,000 mobile phlebotomists for at-home specimen collection.

The enhanced turnaround times for results are now 12 hours for patients post-transplant and 24 hours for living donors pre-transplant. Transplant-related tests will all be processed at one of two dedicated Quest labs on the West and East Coasts. 

In addition, Quest heard from doctors that they would like to get test results integrated into their electronic medical record system, a new feature now available. Quest will also analyze a patient’s test results over time and supply longitudinal trend reports to doctors. Medical consultation and support services will be available to both patients and doctors to help answer any questions.

“These patients at the end of the day are pretty sick and also their loved ones are going through a lot,” Hema Kapoor, M.D., Quest’s senior medical director of infectious diseases and immunology, told Fierce Healthcare. “We wanted to take away some of the pain from the testing perspective and make it easier.”

Regular testing is a critical component of qualifying for the transplant waitlist and receiving an organ.

“It’s not like you get on that list and you stay there,” Amanda Dearborn, a transplant patient that has used Quest’s testing services, told Fierce Healthcare. “Your blood work is what tells your doctors how sick you are.” 

It’s not uncommon for transplant patients to relocate during the process, depending on where there is an organ and where testing is accessible. “The blood testing process is frequent and it needs to be easy,” Dearborn said. “Anything that makes that process easier is a good thing.” 

Yale New Haven Hospital has piloted the Quest offering. 

“Access to fast and convenient transplant testing services is so vital for these vulnerable patient populations,” Elizabeth Cohen, manager of transplant quality, compliance and research at the hospital, said in an announcement. “Given the barriers to testing we know some patients experience, working with Quest has expanded access through its national scale and improved the level of care we have been able to provide, to help us serve that mission.”

The services are available to recipients and living donors across the U.S., except Alaska and Hawaii.