Lab Drive-Thru Will be Permanent
Lab Drive-Thru Will be Permanent

Lab Drive-Thru Will be Permanent

Hospital

The architectural rendering of the lab drive-thru planned at Wyandot Memorial Hospital shows a large canopy to better protect patients in their vehicles and lab staff.

The drive-through concept has been around since at least the 1940’s for food and other services, and it will soon become a standard option for patients in need of lab services at Wyandot Memorial Hospital.

The drive-thru labs at WMH started near the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic to minimize the number of individuals needing to enter the hospital for services. It enabled patients to remain in their vehicles while the lab staff reported to them for the blood draw.

“The drive-thru lab was a safety measure to help protect patients from COVID-19,” explained Marty Gray, the hospital’s risk manager and vice president of clinical ancillary services. “We had no idea that patients of all ages would respond so favorably to the convenience.”

Gray and other WMH leadership report rave reviews of the service from patients who are wheelchair-bound or struggle with walking for any reason. Parents of young children also appreciate the ease of keeping everyone buckled in place and avoiding the hassles associated with leaving the vehicle and entering a building.

“I was one of those parents when my kids were little,” Gray admitted. “It was always easier to pick up lunch or do banking at a drive-through rather than going inside a business with the baby in a carrier and two very inquisitive, rambunctious toddlers.”

With so many patients choosing to use the convenience – and safety – of the hospital’s lab drive-thru, WMH is making it permanent. The service is currently operated under an overhang in the Emergency Department parking lot, and that area will be renovated to improve the traffic flow and comfort for both patients and staff.

“The overhang was once the entrance to our ‘old’ ER,” Gray noted, and she shared an architectural rendering depicting the new drive-thru’s larger canopy area for better protection from inclement weather.

She said the renovations in the area will also provide an indoor workspace for lab staff and their supplies. The plans were drawn by the same architect who designed the Norman Gottfried Surgery Center under construction, and their concept for the drive-thru mirrors the look of the surgery entrance.

A portion of the funding for the renovations is coming from federal dollars earmarked specifically for patient safety-enhancing procedures needed during the pandemic and beyond. The project will also benefit from the proceeds of the WMH Foundation’s annual campaign this year.

“We hope to get the construction of the drive-thru canopy underway soon, as cold weather is not far away,” Gray added. “The target for completion is early winter.”

The drive-thru will continue operating during the renovations, and patients can also opt to have their blood drawn at the lab office on the main floor of the hospital. Wyandot On Wheels offers lab draws during their community visits to Carey, Forest, Harpster, Nevada and Wharton, too.

For more information about the lab drive-thru service, phone Gray at 419-294-4991, extension 2280, email her at mgray@wyandotmemorial.org or visit WyandotMemorial.org.