CEEH outpatient lab to reopen April 22

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Heather Wright/The Independent

There will be fewer drives to Sarnia for blood work for Petrolia residents.

Bluewater Health says the lab at Charlotte Eleanor Englehart Hospital will reopen April 22, even though the computer problems which prompted the closure in October have not yet been resolved.

The outpatient lab was closed in the wake of the Oct. 23 cyber attack on hospitals across southwestern Ontario. Bluewater Health took the brunt of the attack and it is still trying to bring computer systems back online.

Bluewater Health’s Vice President of Clinical Services Bob DeRaad says the outpatient clinic will be reopening, but it won’t be completely back to normal with service slower than usual.
“We were really hoping that the (computer) interface would be would be able to be come back online. But we only learned about four weeks ago that it’s not going to be coming online.

“So we’re going have to go with a sort of hybrid manual process until we implement our new HIS system that’s supposed to go live in early November,” he tells The Independent.

DeRaad says two new employees have been hired to help run the Petrolia lab for the time being.
“It’s taken us time to be able to put the proper resources in place to be able to serve the outpatient population safely and in a timely way. What we’ve had to do is hire and recruit some additional staff to help out and train them to help with that manual process.

And while patients won’t have to drive to Sarnia for testing now, DeRaad says it won’t be service as usual in Petrolia for a while yet.

“People can expect to wait a little bit because everything is being done manually. So when they … used to come in and get their blood drawn and go, there might be a little bit of a delay, they might have to wait a little while before the technicians can get to them. And we’re anticipating a greater volume, because we’re opening it up again.”