After an Advocate investigation into the long wait times faced by local residents at LifeLabs, the city’s only community bloodwork location, the private company says they have now reduced wait times by half.
A media spokesperson for the company who would only identify himself as “Roy” said in an emailed response that LifeLabs regularly reviews how it’s doing to “ensure residents have access to high-quality services within their community.”
“We have been solely focused on how best to adapt our services in response to the challenges and health and safety protocols (proactive screening and physical distancing requirements) presented by the pandemic,” said Roy.
The media spokesperson said they have provided walk-in customers with an option to book same-day appointments. They have also added additional appointments to their online appointment-booking app for those with smart phones, given that winter is coming.
Roy – who frequently referred to people who use LifeLabs’ services as “customers” — also mentioned the hiring of a dedicated screener to “process customers in line swiftly and triage vulnerable…or elderly individuals who are waiting in line.”
The media spokesperson said LifeLabs was also working on getting “additional temporary indoor space within the facility to provide a more comfortable wait space indoors,” that would satisfy physical distancing requirements.
“As a result of these changes, we’ve seen the wait time at this location (in October) reduce by more than half,” compared to the month before, he told the Advocate.
LifeLabs is the largest Canadian laboratory services provider. It’s a for-profit, private corporation indirectly owned by OMERS Administration Corporation.
“We will continue to work with the community to make any additional improvements to meet our customers’ needs and expectations, while also navigating how best to adapt our services in response to the pandemic.”
The Advocate wanted to know if LifeLabs would consider opening a second location in Lindsay or somewhere else in Kawartha Lakes to meet demand.
“We have no specific plans to be opening an additional site in the Lindsay community,” said Roy.
“We will continue to monitor our service in the community to ensure we continue to improve and meet the high standard we expect for our customers.”
The media spokesperson said that “the actions we have taken to adapt our services at this location will address the issues being exasperated [sic] by the pandemic.”
Local MPP Laurie Scott said, also in an emailed response, that she has had “the opportunity to discuss the issue of service wait times being experienced by constituents at the Lindsay LifeLabs location.”
I “have been assured that LifeLabs implemented service delivery changes which have already resulted in improved service. My staff and I will continue to keep apprised of any future changes,” said Scott.