Passavant Area Hospital underwent many changes over the last year and a half due to the COVID-19 pandemic, however, one change that was made will soon be permanent.
Jim Krug with information support services for Passavant says when the pandemic first hit, many hospital services were offered outdoors to help stop the spread of the virus. He says that leads to a shift in how patients view same-day hospital services.
“Originally the patients and our customer were taken aback by not being able to go into the hospital. But as we progressed through the pandemic what we found out is our clientele is now asking what can we do to keep from going into the hospital. And that’s really pushed us to start looking at providing patient care in a different model than we are used to.”
One service that was modified during the pandemic was outpatient laboratory services, which was first provided in a drive-through format in a tent in the front of the hospital, and later moved to the rear parking lot, and then moved again to the doctor parking garage during the winter.
Krug says patients and customers of Passavant have expressed the desire for continued drive-through lab services, and hospital administration have heeded the requests, and a permanent drive-through lab is being built on the northwest side of the hospital campus.
“So what we did over about a six-month period, is we started talking with Future Champions Ballpark. We own three lots that back up to some of the property that they own. We ended up working with the City of Jacksonville as well and were able to come to an agreement that we were able to start building a stand-alone drive through lab services building. It’s going to be located off of North Westgate and backs up to Future Champions.”
Krug says Passavant received a lot of positive feedback from many patients including parents who liked the ease of service for blood draws and other lab needs without the need to take their kids out of the car and into the hospital for a lab visit, as well as during tough winter conditions.
“This new lab drive-through service is going to have two drive-through lanes, large garage doors on both ends out of the weather, and then we will have a restroom in there as well as some office space.
Initially, we are going to limit it to blood draws and COVID testing, pre-op COVID testing. We are going to continue to do that, and then there will be some urinalysis testing work done in that facility as well. That’s why we are going to have a full ADA-compliant restroom in the drive-through facility. If someone pulls in that need to do that type of test we will have them exit their vehicle to that restroom.”
Krug says with Passavant Area Hospital being a part of the Memorial Health System network of hospitals, permanent drive-through lab facilitates are also being constructed at other network locations.
Krug says Passavant has taken an aggressive approach to the construction of the drive-through lab and is targeting having the project completed and operating by sometime in August of this year.