Construction to Begin on $1.1 Million Lab at Essentia Health-Virginia

By KBJR News 1

Construction to Begin on $1.1 Million Lab at Essentia Health-Virginia

August 27, 2013 Updated Aug 27, 2013 at 1:27 PM CDT

Virginia, MN (NNCNOW.com) --- Construction will start soon on a $1.1 million laboratory at Essentia Health-Virginia that officials say will offer patients more efficient lab testing and services.

The new lab, to be located next to the gift shop in the Virginia hospital, will combine lab services from both the hospital and Essentia Health-Virginia Clinic. While patients can still have blood drawn at the clinic, a new pneumatic tube system will automatically send those samples to the hospital for testing.

“The layout of the new lab is a lot more efficient,” says Rich Weiss, Regional Facilities Manager for Essentia Health-Virginia.

The centralized location of the new lab means the hospital entrance off the Virginia Convalescent Center patio will be closed. Patients and visitors will need to use the hospital’s western entrance, next to the Iron Range Rehab Center. Emergency room patients and visitors will still use the hospital’s east entrance.

“We are trying to improve health care for the region, and this is one step,” says Dan Milbridge, Administrator and Chief Operating Officer of Essentia Health-Virginia.

Volunteers and hospital staff will be available to help direct people during construction, he adds.

Virginia Convalescent Center residents will still have access to the outdoor patio during construction using an alternate entrance.
Ultimately, the chapel, gift shop and family waiting areas will be relocated nearer to the hospital’s western entrance.

Remodeling and construction for those projects is planned for early next year. A registration area for all patients is also planned near the west entrance.

Hospital officials expects the new 2,800-square-foot lab to be completed and functioning by mid-November.

The lab was designed and built with input from clinic and hospital lab workers. Earlier this year, lab workers toured a life-sized mock-up of the lab to help them visualize how to best organize the space and equipment, a process many lab workers said helped create an efficient workspace.

Posted to the web by Krista Burns