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NSHA's drive-thru blood collection proving popular

In operation since August outside of Dartmouth General Hospital, the drive-thru blood collection clinic has proved to be more efficient than walk-in clinics
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Positive reviews have been rolling in for the Nova Scotia Health Authority's experiment with drive-thru blood collection.

According to Shauna Thompson, the NSHA's Senior Director for pathology and laboratory medicine, of the 265 people surveyed using the pilot program, 262 say they prefer it to a walk-in clinic.

"They love that they don't have to worry about parking somewhere, they don't have to worry about social distancing," said Thompson of people's reactions. "It's just a much more pleasant environment to get the blood collection procedure done."

In operation since August in the parking lot outside of Dartmouth General Hospital, the drive-thru blood collection clinic has proved to be more efficient as well.

With patients receiving blood collection from their vehicles, it has eliminated the need to disinfect between patients, speeding up overall efficiency. The cleaning of blood-collection chairs and surfaces between patients in walk-in clinics can take up to 10 minutes.

For drive-thru collection, patients are able to book appointments every 10 minutes. Thompson adds, the process only takes about 15 minutes from arrival to departure.

"I guess one of the few silver linings coming out of the pandemic, it's forced us to look at more innovative ways of doing what we do and often it's better than what we did before the pandemic," said Thompson. "I think this is going to be one of those examples."

She added the NSHA is pleased with the positive response and is now looking at adding permanent structures ahead of the winter.

The NSHA hopes to expand the program to other areas of the province.


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