Of all that distinguishes LifeScan Laboratories from our competitors, what stands out most is our commitment to customized solutions. We customize services while still providing the fast, reliable results of a much larger laboratory.
That’s because we scaled up so quickly from being a local laboratory for skilled nursing facilities in our area to becoming a regional and even national player in delivering accurate COVID testing results.
And instead of experiencing growing pains over the last year, we figured out how to automate and optimize our system while maintaining our commitment to customer service and to our internal teamwork approach.
Even before the pandemic, we recognized that as a laboratory, we are our clients’ silent partner in nearly every decision they make. Our accurate, same-day results are crucial to patients’ care. Lab results determine whether a patient can go home, needs to be admitted to a hospital or even if a patient requires an emergency amputation.
We optimize COVID lab results speed
Throughout the pandemic, fast action in a place of business or residence can be the difference between a super spreader case or an isolated one.
With this in mind, we moved to automate every step of our COVID testing process, shaving hours and even seconds off of steps from gathering data through capping and uncapping samples and extraction and resulting on the QPCR instrument.
“Our process is expedited because we have the least amount of human intervention possible and almost full automation using barcode technology and robotics,” says Debbie Gonzalez, Ph.D., SVP of customer experience at LifeScan Labs. “We consistently look at how we can do more, faster. Any time you eliminate touching a sample, you reduce potential error rates and time. We are constantly looking at ways we can continue to automate.”
Each specimen is touched fewer than five times once it comes in from the courier. And once it’s put on a tray, it’s never touched again. Compare that to pre-COVID processes when each specimen was handled up to 25 times.
When the pandemic hit the U.S., we made a commitment to urgency a key part of our strategy for partnering with regional businesses and facilities.
We remain committed to personalized laboratory customer service
Our mobile phlebotomy team provides easy access to fast results
We know that skilled nursing patients are less mobile. LifeScan’s mobile phlebotomists obtain samples, bring them to the lab and deliver same-day results for skilled nursing facilities across the region. We start in the early dawn hours to make sure they have time to get crucial results back to patients that same day.
CEO Eliyahu Kutoff says, “Providing high quality diagnostic information to skilled nursing patients who cannot go out to have their blood drawn and then getting that right cannot be underestimated. It’s really an impressive feat that our people managed to pull off on a daily basis.”
We do the heavy lifting for skilled nursing staff
Staffing is a constant challenge at skilled nursing facilities, a problem that was compounded in the pandemic. We do everything we can to support the SNF staff rather than adding to their workload. With COVID testing, this means we create a barcode label for every person swabbed so that the staff doesn’t fill out extra paperwork. This makes testing fast and more accurate.
We also made it easy to regularly test employees for COVID to avoid a facility breakout
Kutoff says, “You have to remember what June and July was like in 2020. They were in the eye of the storm and it was not easy on them. Among those who pull through every day, there’s a lot of people who owe their lives to them. We’re glad to be a small part of that and be able to make their lives a little easier by ordering their testing and getting them results as quickly as we did.”
We deliver fast results nationally
Outside of the Chicagoland area and the State of Illinois, we are still able to deliver fast, accurate results, thanks to FedEx. We can deliver testing kits with barcode labels and then get those back quickly to deliver results to the client. Kutoff says, “Turnaround times, even from anywhere around the country, are very good. And it’s making an impact thanks to our ability to make the nurses’ life easier by giving them an easier way to collect swabs and the ability to have this extremely precise test that they can rely on completely has made waves in the industry. And we’re proud to have done it.”
We have the ability to scale laboratory results
Our nation saw firsthand the dire consequences of not having the ability to scale COVID testing fast. We at LifeScan realized in March that regional labs like ours needed to step up and be part of the solution…and do it fast.
We ordered redundant molecular lab machines so that even if one fails, we would be able to stay operational. We also maintain a warehouse full of COVID tests.
We watch for any county or state undergoing a surge to let them know that we are standing by ready to assist them.
With variants around the world and a rapidly changing situation, we have a molecular technologist constantly looking at our methodology and our test kits to be sure we’re anticipating what’s looming so that we can quickly pivot.
“We are very nimble because we have a scientific technologist on our team. We are prepared to move quickly. Our level of preparedness is so different today than it was even six months ago,” says Gonzalez.
We get our people to you fast
If there were a Jimmy John’s among laboratories for businesses and facilities, it would be LifeScan.
Whether it’s getting our Covid swabbers or phlebotomists to a facility first thing in the morning or delivering results before the end of the business day, we know that having a streamlined delivery and dispatch system is crucial to our service.
On any given day, we have 200 swabbers, couriers and phlebotomists out in the field. “Coordinating pieces and parts is not for the faint of heart,” says Gonzalez. “Our dispatch department is the lifeline of what we do. They’re the pulse of LifeScan.
We bring a swabber team to your site
For businesses and facilities in the Chicago area and as far as Springfield, Ill., we relieve the busy staff from having to swab residents or employees. Our team of swabbers can quickly handle up to 1,000 people, using a barcode for each person tested.
We’ve scaled our Rapid Response Team with experienced medical professionals who are highly trained to handle a company’s business employees or skilled nursing residents.
Our commitment to stand out among COVID labs in the United States and to be a part of the solution in controlling the pandemic is guided by our commitment to people. Whether it’s our team members or our clients, we are partners in ensuring everyone has the care they need.