At any medical facility, the availability of easily accessible diagnostic services provides the backbone of high quality patient care.

Good Samaritan Health Center in Merrill recently completed a remodeling project in its laboratory that is quickly improving efficiency and has added new testing capabilities for the providers and staff who need them.

“This was a great opportunity to not only give our department a much needed cosmetic facelift, but to use the project to our advantage to improve how we were doing things,” said Mary Premeau, director of laboratory services at Good Samaritan.

The main focus of the project was the addition of a new high-volume analyzer and relocation of other necessary equipment into a cellular or u-shaped design in the chemistry portion of the Good Samaritan Laboratory.

“This new design moved most of our main functions into one single area and greatly reduces how much our technologists have to move around the room to complete necessary testing,” added Premeau. “The new analyzer allows us to conduct more testing on a single sample and that has greatly improved our turnaround time which is appreciated by our patients, providers and staff.”

The new analyzer allows laboratory technologists at Good Samaritan to conduct iron studies and other advanced tests on location as opposed to sending them out to laboratories at other facilities. “This is more cost effective and greatly increases the turnaround time for our patients, providers and staff who depend on these important results,” added Premeau.

The project was also a key example of interaction between Ministry Health Care facilities as Good Samaritan collaborated with laboratory colleagues at Saint Michael’s Hospital in Stevens Point in performing a process assessment to best determine the needs and scope of the project. “We were able to work together and identify opportunities for simple changes that could increase customer and employee satisfaction,” said Michelle O’Connell, quality improvement coordinator, Saint Michael’s Hospital Laboratory.

Premeau and her staff of 10 laboratory technologists provide laboratory services 24-hours a day, seven days a week for the many inpatient and outpatients services at Good Samaritan Health Center as well as the Saint Vincent DePaul Free Clinic and other health care providers in the Merrill community.

“This is another chapter in our continued investment into the infrastructure of Good Samaritan Health Center,” said Good Samaritan Health Center President Michael Hammer. “High quality diagnostic services are essential to our services and this project provided the perfect opportunity to upgrade our equipment and processes to better serve the Merrill area community.”

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