Press release from Dearborn County Hospital
(Lawrenceburg, Ind.) - When the final phase of renovation of Dearborn County Hospital’s Laboratory is completed next spring, the lab will be 2,000 square feet larger and feature a more ergonomic and efficient design.
Dearborn County Hospital
Renovation and enlargement of the laboratory began this spring when it was moved to another ground floor location in the hospital. The current fully functioning interim laboratory is located in the area that previously housed the office of Orthopaedic Surgeon, Dr. Jim Swanson.
“There were several major factors that led to the renovation of the lab. One was improving the lab’s work flow,” explained Sandy Hoff, MLS (ASCP), DCH Administrative Laboratory Director. “The new floor plan will permit laboratory testing to be accomplished in fewer steps and thus be more efficient. Also, the current lab, which has been in its present location since 1979, was never meant to house the volume and types of equipment we have today. By the lab’s completion, we will have moved 272 pieces of equipment, including analyzers, incubators, storage refrigerators and computers. Following the renovation, the new floor plan will more easily accommodate current and future technology.”
Mrs. Hoff’s colleague, Bonnie Mendell, MT (ASCP), head of the lab’s hematology area, listed additional reasons for the lab’s restructuring. “The blueprints show a much more open concept where the technologists can see each other and work as a team. Much of the equipment will be on portable carts to provide flexibility within the floor arrangement. It will also allow for easier access when performing maintenance on our larger instruments,” Mrs. Mendell continued.
“The general public may not realize that a hospital’s Laboratory is one of its largest departments,” Mrs. Hoff elaborated. “Lab results make up 70 to 80 percent of a patient’s chart, yet for many people the only contact they have with the lab staff is through the phlebotomists who draw their blood.”
Today’s DCH lab consists of more than 50 staff members including 28 technical professionals with Bachelor’s or Associate’s Degrees in Medical Laboratory Science, phlebotomists, clerical staff and student interns. The lab is also home to the hospital’s team of Pathologists, Dr. Stephen Eliason, Dr. Michael Smith and Dr. Gregory Heaton.
The DCH Laboratory houses 12 areas that handle 1.5 million tests a year. The areas and their responsibilities are:
“When completed, the new Laboratory will be much more user-friendly,” concluded Mrs. Hoff. “The more efficient design will allow us to provide a faster turnaround time. It will also give us the flexibility to add new tests in the future as the need arises. Not only will our staff benefit from the renovation and expansion, but our patients will as well.”