Most waits at Red Deer’s blood testing lab are now less than 30 minutes: AHS

More appointment times were added and processes were standardized

Waits at the DynaLIFE lab in Red Deer have significantly decreased with the addition of more appointment times and the reopening of the Red Deer hospital laboratory to patients of on-site clinics.

According to Alberta Health Services, the majority of people who need to get testing done are now waiting less than 30 minutes.

“On Monday and Tuesday of this week, the wait times averaged just nine minutes at various times of the day.”

This stands in contrast to earlier this month, when some patients were waiting from three to five hours outside the building to get their blood testing done because of physical distancing requirements to limit the spread of COVID-19.

AHS is still recommending booking an appointment, even though the earliest slots are about a month ahead.

“DynaLIFE continues to make improvements to its processes, standardizing patient reception to minimize wait times and improve the patient experience in the lab,” according to a statement from AHS.

“DynaLIFE is also working on further enhancements to electronic patient notification tools that will offer patients greater flexibility while they wait. They hope to have this option available in the near future.”

While DynaLIFE has opened up more appointment slots, demand remains “very high.” And physicians are being asked to limit their lab orders to urgent and medically necessary tests for patients.

“We thank patients and physicians for their co-operation and patience while we strive to … (operate) under new public health guidelines,” states AHS.

New protocols require distancing, the wearing of masks and enhanced cleaning – which impacts how many patients can be served.

At the start of the pandemic, the Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre temporarily relocated to serve only urgent outpatient collections.

The Red Deer hospital outpatient lab is now back in its regular location in the hospital’s annex. It’s once again serving patients associated with the on-site ambulatory clinics, while cancer care patients being served in the Central Alberta Cancer Centre.

“Outpatients requiring regular or routine lab work are still encouraged to attend the DynaLIFE location,” states AHS.

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