Sparrow seeing delays and some blood testing sites

Published: Oct. 19, 2020 at 3:40 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - While Sparrow labs is performing an increasing number of COVID-19 tests, they are also trying to get a handle on blood testing delays.

The line for COVID-19 testing and blood work at Sparrow Hospital’s Frandor location was wrapped around the building at 1 p.m. on Monday. Lab Director Dr. Jon Baker says they’re doing most of the testing for the region.

“We’re on the largest producer of tests in most of Michigan,” said Baker.

With having that role, they’ve run into a major challenge of trying to support other services like blood testing.

Some of their labs have seen an increase in wait times for patients to get blood drawn up to three hours.

“The whole response to COVID is required that we have a lot more employees in the laboratory. And so, we have people deployed in different places and we are hiring and bringing people on really as fast as we can. We are seeing some of the same difficulties other employers are having in terms of finding employees,” said Baker.

Dr. Baker says that on top of staff shortages, the waiting rooms are also operated differently with some requests for service coming through on a kiosk and others through drive through or call-in, which can contribute to delays.

“That has been, it has been harder to get more of our places back open again. So, we’re furiously working at opening more sites and looking at more and more options, including additional options for drive thru,” said Baker.

He says what they really need to speed things up is more staff, which they are actively working toward.

“For us, keeping up with the demand for blood testing is really a race to add more staff. That’s happening as quickly as we can. And to do that, carefully to make sure that you always have a competent person that’s taking care of you,” said Baker.

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