Back to Top Skip to main content

NMCP unveils new COVID-19 testing system

A group of military health personnel, wearing masks, in front of a large machine with a red ribbon in front of it. Naval Medical Center Portsmouth (NMCP) Microbiology Department recently unveiled their new Panther system to help in the fight against the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and its operational impact. Members of NMCP's Laboratory joined Navy Capt. Lisa Mulligan, NMCP's commanding officer, and Navy Cmdr. Peter Carbone, NMCP's Laboratory department head (center), as they cut the ribbon marking the start of the use of the Panther system at NMCP. (Photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Dylan Kinee, NMC Portsmouth.)

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

Naval Medical Center Portsmouth (NMCP) Microbiology Department recently unveiled their new Panther system to help in the fight against the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and its operational impact.

The Panther system is a best-in-class, fully automated, sample-to-result platform. Each Panther system can provide initial results in approximately four hours, and it is able process around 1,000 COVID-19 tests in a 24-hour period.

“With this new system, at the end of the day, we spend the same amount of time testing but with three times the output volume,” said Ruben Ayala, an NMCP microbiologist who worked on getting the Panther system to the medical center. “We can do an even better job taking care of all our patients in-house and get the results a lot faster.”

Located in the Tidewater region, NMCP is the primary medical center for the region that hosts the largest U.S. military concentration in the world. Due to the ongoing pandemic, operational commands in the region are required to get COVID-19 tests before being cleared to execute operations or perform exercises. Now, NMCP will be able to support large groups requiring COVID tests in a shorter period of time.

“Any operational unit that needs to be cleared pre-deployment can come in at, say, seven o’clock (a.m.), and they’ll be deployed that afternoon if everything is negative,” Ayala said. “It’s perfect for operational readiness in concerns with COVID-19.”

Once NMCP’s Microbiology Department received all the supplies and equipment, they rallied together and were able to complete assembly of the Panther system ahead of schedule.

“From the lowest rank to the highest rank, everyone was doing their part for the team,” Ayala said. “They were mission focused at all times. We had a lot of regulations that we had to fulfill and everyone was cooperating and willing to fulfill those regulations in about three weeks. Everyone was willing to go the extra mile to get this done.”

“Robust testing and contact tracing are the foundation of any effective virus containment plan,” said Navy Capt. Melissa Austin, NMCP’s executive officer. “The Panther provides us with high-throughput diagnostic testing capability that will enable us to better support both the operational forces and clinical care here in the hospital.”

“COVID-19 is currently the sole focus for this machine,” said Sean Ehrsam, an NMCP medical laboratory technician. “But when COVID-19 testing slows down, we can open up the machine to other types of testing.”

“I am so proud of the team effort from our laboratory, facilities, and logistic departments to get the platform installed, validated, and supplied in such a short time,” added Austin.

You also may be interested in...

MHS Transformation results continue during COVID-19

Article
1/21/2021
Military personnel in a supply room, reaching for the top shelf

The MTF transition has enabled the DHA and the Services to increase standardization, eliminate duplicative contracts, and realize cost efficiencies by beginning the management of an enterprise-wide program.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | MHS Transformation

DOD recommends adults 75 and older should seek COVID-19 vaccine

Article
1/19/2021
Nursing home members, wearing masks, wait in a line to get their COVID vaccine

This age recommendation differs slightly from that of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which recommends vaccinations for those 65 and older.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Is It Your Time to Get the Vaccine? | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | COVID-19 Vaccine for Adults Age 75 and Older

LTG Place Vaccine Roll-Out Video

Video
1/18/2021
DHA Seal

DHA Director LTG Ron Place talks about coronavirus vaccines, their safety and efficacy, and encourages everyone to do their own research to get vaccinated.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | COVID-19 Toolkit | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

Partnerships, COVID-19 are catalysts for enterprise virtual health

Article
1/14/2021
Image of Mr. Adler with text: "Partnerships, COVID-19 are catalysts for enterprise virtual health."

Jamie Adler, the lead for the DHA’s Virtual Health Clinical Integration Office, discusses the future of virtual health (VH).

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Connected Health

COVID-19 hinders blood donations during National Blood Donor Month

Article
1/14/2021
Navy Capt. R. Wade Blizzard, commanding officer of U.S. Navy Support Facility Diego Garcia, donates blood for the Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Units Diego Garcia walking blood bank on Dec. 17, 2020. The walking blood bank is a list of eligible donors who can provide blood in case of emergency. (U.S. Navy photo by Navy Seaman Apprentice Stevin Atkins)

Life-saving blood is in high-demand by the Armed Services Blood Program, as the COVID-19 has negatively impacted donations.

Recommended Content:

Armed Services Blood Program | Public Health | Coronavirus | Holiday Observances

COVID presents new set of challenges for DOD environmental health

Article
1/12/2021
Group of Marines, snowshoeing through the snow

One of the most important factors to take into account when maintaining one’s overall fitness is physical environment.

Recommended Content:

Total Force Fitness in a Pandemic | Reintroducing Total Force Fitness | January Toolkit | Coronavirus | Total Force Fitness

DOD Launches “My MilLife Guide” Text Message Program to Boost Wellness

Article
1/11/2021
The new My MilLife Guide program supports the wellness of the military community.

DoD has launched My MilLife Guide, a new program that sends text messages designed to help the military community boost overall wellness while navigating stresses related to COVID-19.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Public Health | Total Force Fitness | Health Readiness

Navy corpsman provides multitude of support to hospital

Article
1/8/2021
Two military personnel, wearing masks, in a supply room looking at the shelves

“Thinking outside the box is what makes a great person, let alone a Sailor," Tie said.

Recommended Content:

Public Health | Coronavirus

MTF facilities, markets set to resume transition heading into 2021

Article
1/6/2021
A military nurse, wearing a mask, prepares a needle for a vaccination

Butler says transition on track.

Recommended Content:

MHS Transformation | Coronavirus

BACH healthcare workers and first responders vaccinated for COVID-19

Article
1/6/2021
Soldier gives a nurse a vaccine in her left arm

BACH now joins other Defense Health Agency military treatment facilities that have received the vaccine, marking the start of a phased-in vaccination program to mitigate the spread of the virus.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | COVID-19 Toolkit

MHS operational innovations continue in battle against COVID-19

Article
1/5/2021
Two medical personnel, wearing full PPE, in an operating room

MHS innovations in 2020 include a new registry for real-time COVID-19 data and a system to free up hospital beds and protect patients from the disease.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Research and Innovation | Innovation | Technology

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit

Publication
1/5/2021

This toolkit provides communicators across the Military Health System (MHS) with important information about the COVID-19 prevention and vaccination from the CDC to share with patients and health care professionals.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | COVID-19 Information for Military Treatment Facility Directors | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | COVID-19 Toolkit | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit

COVID-19 Social Media Toolkit

Publication
1/5/2021

These messages are provided for you to use on your platforms with any of the images from the COVID-19 Toolkit.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

Countering seasonal depression during the COVID-19 pandemic

Article
1/5/2021
Man with his head in his hands, sitting in front of a Christmas tree

SAD, or sometimes called seasonal depression, is a subtype of a major depressive disorder.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Psychological Fitness | Mental Health Care | Depression | Suicide Prevention

Remote monitoring program enables COVID-19 patients to recover at home

Article
1/4/2021
Two medical personnel, wearing masks, looking at the contents of a home-based COVID treatment kit

The program equips COVID-19 patients needing additional monitoring with a home healthcare kit and 24/7 oversight from registered nurses to ensure a higher level of post-hospital care.

Recommended Content:

Public Health | Coronavirus | Innovation
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 1 - 15 Page 1 of 24

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

Some documents are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF reader is required for viewing. Download a PDF Reader or learn more about PDFs.