New “Kidney Profile” test to improve laboratory assessment of chronic kidney disease with aim to help detect disease early
TEMPE, AZ - March 11, 2019 – Sonora Quest Laboratories, Arizona’s leading provider of diagnostic testing and information services, has partnered with the National Kidney Foundation (NKF) and the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) to help overcome routine obstacles observed in chronic kidney disease (CKD) testing and improve primary care diagnosis and monitoring of the disease. This collaboration will help standardize the tests used to detect CKD, improve comparison of test results between laboratories, increase early recognition of the disease and promote patient awareness of the condition in the Arizona market.
Almost 75 million Americans are at risk for developing CKD as a result of hypertension or diabetes. Approximately 30 million Americans have CKD, but only about 3.6 million are currently aware that they have this condition. CKD progression can be slowed or halted if the disease, which often has no symptoms, is caught in its early stages. Two simple tests diagnose CKD. Currently, 94 percent of patients with high blood pressure (hypertension) and 61 percent with diabetes are not receiving both tests necessary to detect and monitor chronic kidney disease as recommended by clinical practice guidelines, despite these being the top two risk factors for developing chronic kidney disease.
A component of this new collaboration is the recommendation of a new test profile for CKD assessment and diagnosis now available through Sonora Quest Laboratories. Quest Diagnostics, one of Sonora Quest’s parent companies, helped develop this new CKD kidney profile, which follows evidence-based clinical practice guidelines recommendations of two tests for CKD assessment - the estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR), which assesses kidney function, and urine albumin-creatinine ratio (ACR), which assesses kidney damage. The kidney profile will simplify ordering of the tests needed to detect and diagnose CKD by pairing them together under one heading on the laboratory requisition form or electronic health record order. Such streamlining of CKD test ordering could help to eliminate the need to search for each test separately and increases the ease of monitoring results. The kidney profile also makes it easier for people at risk for CKD to better understand and track their health through collaboration with their healthcare professional.
“This profile with help diagnose patients easier and help them understand their kidney health,” said Kevin Longino, CEO of the National Kidney Foundation and a kidney transplant patient. “The Kidney Profile is a key component of CKDintercept®, the NKF's initiative to improve recognition of CKD in its earliest stages, slow its progression, and improve the health outcomes of the 30 million Americans living with CKD today.”
Sonora Quest's endorsement and implementation of the Kidney Profile in Arizona strengthens the nationwide effort to engage the laboratory community in our efforts to improve outcomes for people living with CKD. The routine use will assist healthcare professionals to provide timely and accurate assessment of the large number of Arizona patients at risk for CKD, according to Kelly Wilhelms, Ph.D., DABCC Scientific Medical Director, General Laboratory/Toxicology for Sonora Quest Laboratories.
“We look forward to collaborating with Sonora Quest to make CKD screening for people with diabetes or hypertension routine standard of care in Arizona,” said James Ivie, PhD, LCSW, Director of Patient Services for NKF AZ.
Healthcare professionals can learn more about the kidney profile by visiting www.ascp.org/kidneyprofile. A fact sheet for doctors to share with their patients is available. This brochure explains what kidneys do, how to keep kidneys healthy and what tests determine if kidneys are working properly. For more information on Sonora Quest, visit www.SonoraQuest.com.
About Sonora Quest Laboratories
Sonora Quest Laboratories, a joint venture between Banner Health and Quest Diagnostics (NYSE: DGX), is part of the nation’s largest integrated laboratory system with 3,200 employees serving more than 22,000 patients every day throughout Arizona. Sonora Quest Laboratories is the market share leader in clinical laboratory testing in Arizona, performing more than 60 million diagnostic tests per year. Sonora Quest Laboratories offers a local comprehensive test menu which encompasses routine, molecular, prescription drug monitoring, genetic/genomic, women’s health and pathology testing services. My Lab ReQuest provides consumers direct access to a diverse range of affordable screening tests that can be ordered online at SonoraQuest.com or in any of Sonora Quest’s 70+ patient service centers across Arizona. Ninety-eight percent of all testing is performed at our primary testing facilities located in Tempe, Tucson, Flagstaff, Prescott and Yuma. Sonora Quest Laboratories is accredited by the College of American Pathologists (CAP) which is the gold standard in laboratory accreditation, helping laboratories to maintain accuracy of test results and ensure accurate patient diagnosis. This accreditation ensures the highest standard of care for all laboratory patients as CAP inspectors examine laboratory staff qualifications, equipment, facilities, safety program and records, and overall management. www.SonoraQuest.com.
About National Kidney Foundation of Arizona
The National Kidney Foundation of Arizona (NKF AZ) is a state wide non-profit foundation dedicated to providing education about Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) and helping kidney disease sufferers overcome the medical, financial and logistical challenges of CKD. In 2013, the Foundation commemorated its 50th anniversary of providing dynamic programs, direct patient support, kidney health initiatives and organ donation awareness. For more information, call (602) 840-1644 or visit www.azkidney.org.
About National Kidney Foundation
The National Kidney Foundation (NKF) is the largest, most comprehensive and longstanding organization dedicated to the awareness, prevention and treatment of kidney disease. For more information about NKF visit www.kidney.org.
About American Society for Clinical Pathology
Founded in 1922 in Chicago, ASCP is a medical professional society with more than 100,000 member board- certified anatomic and clinical pathologists, pathology residents and fellows, laboratory professionals and students. ASCP provides excellence in education, certification and advocacy on behalf of patients, pathologists and laboratory professionals. To learn more, visit www.ascp.org.