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New lab purchase helps Richland patients lose “wait.”

New lab purchase helps Richland patients lose “wait.”

It’s a simple test. By analyzing how red blood cells in a vial of blood clump and fall to the bottom, doctors learn what they need to diagnose a number of inflammatory diseases, like Giant Cell Arthritis. But until recently, performing it in the lab at Carle Richland Memorial Hospital (CRMH) took a full hour. And so, the hospital’s employees decided to change that.

With funds from the 2019 CRMH Employee Giving Campaign, the hospital recently acquired a brand new Alcor MiniiSed® Sedimentation Rate Analyzer, which enables technicians to complete the same task in just three minutes. That’s an astounding 95 percent improvement turnaround time, which means physicians will now have the facts they need faster than you can say rheumatoid arthritis. 

That’s great news for patients, because it means 57 minutes less time they need to take off from work or be away from their families. And because CRMH performs around 570 of these tests a year, it also means an additional 540 hours of valuable lab time that can be freed up for other things, providing the ultimate win/win/win.

“It literally brings us up to speed,” Reid Travis, CRMH lab manager said, who explains that the old method of testing was reliable but time-consuming. “With the new analyzer, we’re not only getting the results much faster, but we’re also becoming more closely aligned with the main laboratory in Urbana, which uses Alcor equipment.”

The new sedimentation analyzer is just one of three projects made possible by the generosity of CRMH employees. Patients receiving mammograms at CRMH are now much more comfortable, thanks to disposable fabric paddle covers and personal care kits. Employees also provided $5,000 to offset the cost of concussion testing and evaluation for local sports teams.

“It’s great when you do just one thing that makes care better for patients,” Travis said. “But thanks to the generosity of our employees, we were able to really raise the bar for a wide range of patients.” 

Altogether, employees raised more than $14,000 last year — and every cent supported projects with a direct impact on patient care. 

Categories: Culture of Quality

Tags: laboratory, Olney, patients, Richland