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South Texas Veterans Health Care System (STVHCS)

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STVHCS cytogenetics team

Path/Lab staff (L-R): Kenneth Hughes, Siddharth Adhvaryu, Ph.D., Anna Sandoval, Dr. Amir Ehsan, and Anna Tyler. Photo by Robin Risemas, Office of Public Affairs

By Robin Risemas, Office of Public Affairs
Tuesday, November 23, 2010

As a patient, waiting for test results can be agonizing, especially when the test is for a disease as serious as leukemia. 

It is common for patients to wait anywhere from 10-14 days to get serious results like these, but recently that process has been significantly shortened at the South Texas Veterans Health Care System (VHCS).

Dr. Aamir Ehsan, Pathology/Laboratory Chief, South Texas VHCS, and his cytogenetics team, have brought expedited testing to the Veterans of South Texas with exciting results.

“New technology in our Pathology/Laboratory department achieves test results in about 24 hours, saving Veterans the stress of waiting so that they can move on to treatment if necessary,” Dr. Ehsan explained.

South Texas VHCS is the first VA to perform eight color FLOW cytometry on site. Many other health care facilities send extensive testing to outside labs which is costly in both time and money.  Dr. Ehsan says eight color testing is “like giving you more opportunity to look at tumor cells from different angles.”

This development is expected to reap significant savings for the VA as a whole in the future.  South Texas VHCS will be seriously considering offering the use of this new innovating testing equipment to other VA facilities in the near future.

Upon hearing of this new on site testing, Deputy Chief of Staff, South Texas VHCS, Dr. Teresa Boyd said “This is a wonderful stepping stone and reaches far into not only patient/medical care and treatment, but into patient satisfaction!” She went on to say, “Imagine learning of your diagnosis sooner and being able to obtain treatment immediately… when in the past, days were spent wondering what the diagnosis would be and imagining the worst.”



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