April 19 – 25, 2020 is National Medical Laboratory Professionals Week (NMLP).
NMLP, also referred to as Lab Week takes place the last full week of April each year and shines a light on lab professionals who play a vital role in every aspect of healthcare, ensuring patients receive accurate results, diagnoses, and treatment.
The lab staff at Mahaska Health collaborate with departments across the hospital on a daily basis. Lab Director, Tim Schroeder says that collaboration has led to increased capabilities and partnerships. “We have been able to expand out testing abilities to meet the needs of other hospital departments. Our team is valued for our knowledge and follow through,” he shared.
Schroeder has always enjoyed science and likes to educate others about work in the lab. “The lab helps providers determine what might be affecting their patient, what their health is like, and results monitored over time can help patients achieve better health.”
2020 marks the 44th year of the week of celebration, and a year to remember for lab professionals across the nation. Mahaska Health is constantly looking for ways to better serve patients, and the lab is no different. “We had been working on plans to purchase new instruments, improve our software systems, and increase sensitivity testing for heart attacks,” Schroeder shared. “When SARS-CoV-2, better known as COVID-19 arrived on the worldwide scene, we needed to shift our focus to learning all we could about this new virus and how to test for it.”
The Mahaska Health lab team has risen to the challenges of COVID-19, working diligently to keep up with quickly changing regulations and protocol changes, while keeping the hospital’s coronavirus taskforce up to date. The lab has continued to see roughly 50-75% workload and no staff have been let go or furloughed. Schroeder says this can be attributed in part to ongoing patient trust in Mahaska Health for their care and laboratory testing.
Despite stresses the pandemic has caused, Schroeder says the Mahaska Health team is stronger for it. “We’ve worked together to develop comprehensive plans to ensure we continue to provide the best quality care for all of our patients,” he said. “The laboratory staff has been wonderful through all of this and are proud to continue serving our patients and providers as we move forward.”