Local News

RRMC takes down tents, opens new specimen collection center


Rutland Regional Medical Center has opened a new Specimen Collection Center (SCC) in the former Physiatry and Physical Medicine space on the Allen Street side of the hospital. This new location will improve the service, flow, and safety of specimen collection at the hospital. (Physiatry and Physical Medicine is now part of the Vermont Orthopaedic Clinic practice located in the newly opened Thomas W. Huebner medical office building.)

“When Covid-19 hit, we found ourselves backed up with lab testing that was related to Covid-19. It was a question of volume and space. This new space will allow us to safely manage patients as they come in for a variety of tests but especially Covid-19 and flu,” said Leah Denton, senior director of clinical services.

The new SCC will help eliminate the exterior Covid-19 testing tents which served the hospital well for several months. Now with the winter weather coming, and the onset of the flu season, it was important to find a solution to meet both volume and employee and patient safety needs. The entrance to the new SCC is located near the area where the Covid-19 tents were previously.

“Our staff have done an incredible job for several months working outside in the tents during all types of weather,” said Jonathan Reynolds, vice president of clinical services. “With winter approaching we needed a solution quickly.”

The SCC was designed with patient safety and privacy in mind. It is equipped with several private collection rooms as well as a “one way” patient flow system. There is one way in, and a second way out. Each patient will be escorted through to the center and escorted out. Additionally, the air inside the SCC will be continuously vented externally to ensure a safe environment for patients and staff.

“Patients will arrive at a specified time as designated by our scheduler who explains the process once they arrive,” said Ms. Denton. “Once they park they will text or call the SCC check in desk to let us know they are here and they will be escorted through the center to the collection room and when finished, they will be escorted out.”

Only people who have an order from a physician for a test are permitted to come into the SCC. The SCC scheduler will contact the patients and arrange for the date and time for the test. This process should reduce wait times considerably and allow for very quick service for a majority of the tests ordered. The SCC will not be used for blood drawing as that will continue to take place at the blood draw stations managed by the hospital.

Since the Oct. 19 soft open date the Covid-19 specimen collection tents came down, marking a significant milestone in this most unusual and difficult year in healthcare. For more information, visit RRMC.org.

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