AMA releases SARS-CoV-2 testing documents for physicians & patients

The American Medical Association (AMA) has released two documents that address SARS-CoV-2 diagnostic testing, including one that was developed for physicians and one that was developed for patients. The documents “provide considerations for the responsible use of limited testing resources that physicians and their patients should consider when seeking polymerase chain reaction (PCR) diagnostic testing.”

AMA notes that, “The supply chain for PCR testing components continues to be under strain, with hospital and academic laboratories continuing to report inconsistent supplies of reagents and viral transport media, as well as new and increasing shortages of plastic components, such as pipette tips. Further, overwhelming demand for PCR diagnostic tests has resulted in delays in the return of test results at large reference laboratories and health departments nationwide.”

The documents “[encourage] physicians and the public to be good stewards of limited resources by prioritizing PCR diagnostic testing services for those with a medical need, such as those with COVID-19 symptoms, those with a known exposure to someone with COVID-19, those in need of pre-procedure testing, and health care workers….[and]  physicians should consider avoiding ordering a PCR diagnostic test for those without a medically-indicated need for those tests, such as for those wishing to participate in social gatherings, wishing to engage in non-essential travel, or wishing to return to work or school.”

AMA points out that “the guidelines are subject to change should demand for testing services decrease, supply availability improve, or as availability of new types of testing increases.”

Physicians’ SARS-CoV-2 diagnostic testing document

Patients’ SARS-CoV-2 diagnostic testing document