After a long wait in cramped quarters on the first floor, the Laboratory (Lab) at St. John’s Mercy Hospital moved into its new home on the second floor, a space that is twice the size and comfortably fits all the high-tech equipment and accommodations the hospital needs to serve patients and allow for future technologies and growth.
“We are really excited to be here, working in this environment. The entire staff is elated,” said Jeanne Theissen, Lab manager. “We had outgrown our old lab, and as a result we were crowded and the noise level was high. The new location is an open design with the majority of the refrigerators and freezers and the water system housed in the storeroom. There is a marked reduction in noise, more walking and working space and natural light. It is so much more efficient.”
The Lab is where tests are done on clinical specimens, such as a patient’s blood, to get health information that can lead to diagnosis, treatment or prevention of an illness or disease. The Lab at St. John’s Mercy Hospital, which is accredited with the College of American Pathologists, performs 34,000 tests each month on behalf of patients from the hospital, St. John’s Mercy Medical Building and offices of St. John’s Mercy affiliated and non-affiliated physicians in the surrounding communities.
While the move was vital to the Lab’s future growth, it was also part of a larger hospital plan to expand the Emergency Department. The reconfigured Emergency Department, which will be completed next year, will increase from 8,400 to 13,700 square feet and from 15 to 29 exam rooms with dedicated areas for pediatrics, trauma and critical care and minor injuries and illnesses.
The total cost of the expansion project is $6 million, which includes the expense of moving the Lab. The St. John’s Mercy Hospital Foundation is in the middle of the “Always Ready” fundraising campaign to secure the remaining funds.
“We have secured more than $4.9 million, which leaves us with just more than $1 million to complete our fundraising goal,” said Terri L. McLain, hospital president. “We are moving forward with plans and expect to begin construction on the Emergency Department expansion before we celebrate the New Year.”