On April 28, a command meeting was held at the NSLIJHS central laboratories to delineate an action plan to respond to the crisis.
By May 1, in consultation with the New York State and New York City DOHs, the NSLIJHS Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory began testing, with the RVP assay, the remaining samples for index patients screened on April 24-25 (i.e., the 68 archived samples with negative rapid influenza A/B antigen screening results) as well as all incoming samples with test results positive for influenza A by DFA assay and/or culture.
Including the initial 28 samples that were sent to CDC, the NSLIJHS Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory had identified 169 confirmed or probable pandemic (H1N1) 2009 cases.
In July 2009, the NSLIJHS Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory obtained New York State approval to confirm cases of pandemic (H1N1) 2009 by using the published CDC method.
The NSLIJHS Krasnoff Quality Management Institute provided daily biostatistical reports to system leadership.
In addition, the NSLIJHS sales force was redirected to support physician offices, including communication of protocols and procedures and deliveries of supplies.
The steps taken by our laboratory were strongly supported by system leadership and enabled NSLIJHS to successfully meet this crisis.
The major surge response stratagems, established at the outset, guided NSLIJHS management actions throughout the crisis.
We believe that the steps taken by NSLIJHS laboratories during the initial outbreak of pandemic (H1N1) 2009 and the lessons learned (Table) from that experience are of value.