Lab director who processed Test Utah COVID-19 tests resigns

News

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – There is a shakeup at Timpanogos Regional Hospital. Dr. Blair McGirk was in charge of signing off on thousands of Utahn’s COVID-19 tests through Test Utah. Now hospital officials say he’s resigned as the lab director. 

The move comes in the wake of the hospital losing its COVID-19 processing contract with Test Utah, and a federal audit.

Tuesday, officials with MountainStar, a client of ABC4 News tell us in an email Dr. McGirk “is still on medical staff,” but “resigned his position as lab medical director.” 

In July, ABC4 News obtained the federal audit conducted by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services or CMS, a division of the Department of Health and Human Services.

In May, federal regulators cited Timpanogos Regional Hospital’s Lab for not complying with the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendment of 1988 or CLIA Compliance. 

In the audit, investigators told us the lab “Failed to ensure positive identification and optimum integrity of patient specimens from the time of collection through completion of testing and reporting of results” 

Federal inspectors found fault mainly with six things:

  • General laboratory systems
  • Preanalytic systems
  • Analytic systems
  • Postanalytic systems
  • Laboratory director 
  • General supervisor

Officials with the hospital say, “Dr. McGirk’s resignation was not a condition outlined by CLIA.”

Timpanogos Regional Hospital could lose its federal certification on its lab and face possible fines depending on the CLIA’s final response.

“Timpanogos Regional Hospital is still working closely with CLIA representatives to ensure complete compliance with best practices for lab processing. We have not received a final response from CLIA,” said MontainStar spokesperson Mike Graul. 

Jason Nguyen
Jason Nguyen is an award-winning reporter and photojournalist who is back with ABC4 News as the lead reporter on Good Morning Utah, bringing over a decade of news experience to the team.
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