Pay Attention When Purchasing Flu Kits for Your Practice or Facility

In the healthcare field, rapid diagnosis can make all the difference between knowing if you are dealing with a handful of cases, or an outbreak. When you see flu symptoms, you need to know not just whether it is the flu or not, but what kind of influenza you are dealing with.

That is why it is important that healthcare facilities purchasing flu kits know why it is important to choose the right kits.


Differentiating Between A, B, or Other

Influenza kits are not built to scale. When purchasing flu kits for your practice or facility, you need to remain cognizant of that fact. For example, some flu kits can only detect either Influenza A, or Influenza B. Some kits can detect both, but cannot distinguish between them. Some other kits can detect both, and can distinguish between them.

This all goes to show you that you must take care in making your choice. As you know, that distinction between viruses can let you know if you have a pandemic or just a single person with a mild flu on your hands.


The Easier the Better

When purchasing a flu test kit, you should always look out for the ease of use. The more steps you have to take, the longer everyone has to wait for results.

Additional steps also introduce greater possibilities for errors during the test’s administration. These errors can lead to false negatives, or false positives, which defeats the purpose of the test to begin with.


Look for Clear Directions

There are other factors that can lead to incorrect results neither, and those usually have to do with not following directions. Even when a test has few steps, it is important to follow the directions for that specific test very closely.

It is easy to assume that because you have administered these types of tests before, that everything will still work similarly between different influenza tests. It is understandable that during a busy day, it is hard to take the time out to relearn doing something you already know how to do. But it is still necessary to follow steps.

For example, many tests will come with their own swabs or recommend a particular kind of swab. Deviating from the recommended swab type or swab material can increase the chance of false positives and false negatives.


Only Purchase from a Reputable Medical Supply Source

When purchasing flu kits, you should always make sure that you purchase from a reputable source. It does not matter the type or brand of the test kit if the supplier has an old stock or a kit that is no longer viable.

Besides, no matter how many places you find that sells these kits, keep in mind that only a select few brands have full FDA approval. Some examples of these include:

Understanding which brands have FDA approval can also help you eliminate a lot of flu test kit sources that are not as reputable or professional as you would like.


Keep Yourself and Your Staff Prepared

It is not always the flu season when a strain of influenza decides it is time to show up in any particular community. Having a ready supply of flu tests and the knowledge of how to use them effectively can help you figure out what is going on as soon as possible.

If you are in charge of purchasing flu kits, then make sure that you purchase the right kits for your needs, from the right kind of medical supply service.

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