HomeLocalWNH Lab One Step Closer To Full StrengthWNH Lab One Step Closer To Full StrengthThu, July 7, 2022 by Brady BaumanSHARE NOW (Photo courtesy WNH)On June 2, William Newton Hospital’s clinical laboratory resumed administering blood products, enabling the hospital to also resume all types of surgeries, labor and delivery, and c-sections.According to a news release from WNH, the Winfield hospital has received positive feedback from its licensing body on the lab’s current state, following a survey conducted in May by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment under the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments.“I am beyond proud of the work our lab team has put in to achieve this,” William Newton Hospital Interim Chief Executive Officer Brian Barta stated. “KDHE and CLIA have expressed their satisfaction with the progress that has been made.”BartaThe recent visit from KDHE was a follow-up to a prior survey conducted in April 2021. Since then, the hospital has been working to make many improvements within the lab based on survey findings.Barta explained that for the remainder of 2021 and the first months of 2022, the laboratory and administrative teams worked with two consulting groups along with KDHE and CMS to improve processes, recruit staff, and conduct additional training. The hospital also notified providers and patients of documentation errors discovered during the 2021 survey.“Our devoted healthcare teams were working selflessly and tirelessly to care of patients, and at the same time, we had to tell people we missed the mark,” Barta said. “But it’s important to note that the survey findings were centered around documentation. Following a thorough review, there has been no evidence of any patient harm.”In February, the hospital announced it would be placing a temporary pause on blood transfusions, which meant certain surgeries and labor and delivery were also suspended. During that time, the hospital had transfer agreements with other hospitals on the rare occasion a patient needed a blood transfusion.“This was a big blow to staff, providers, and our community. We pride ourselves on patient safety, so that meant we needed to take some additional steps in regards to our blood bank procedures before resuming these services,” Barta added.Barta says the hospital has turned the corner in regards to its laboratory and blood bank. After contracting with short-term laboratory managers, the hospital recruited Megan Coffman, MLT, as its laboratory manager in December 2021.“We were fortunate to find Megan. Her knowledge and leadership are an immense asset to our laboratory and the hospital. WNH is grateful for all the work she and countless others have done to get us to this point,” Barta said.GrahamChris Graham, Administrative Director of Ancillary Services, says the lab is well on its way toward full operations, but that staffing is a priority right now.“Our lab typically handles volumes three times that of other hospitals our size, so during the pandemic, our team was working crazy hours. We’ve had to rely on agency staffing, and the national medical technologist shortage has made it very challenging,” Graham said. “Though we’ve had to outsource and scale back, our lab has remained open, and we’re working hard to become fully staffed and have all tests in-house.”Brenda Brown joined William Newton Hospital on June 13 as blood bank supervisor. The hospital has also entered into a new relationship with Kansas Pathology Consultants out of Wichita working with Dr. Megan Redelman and Dr. Ward Newcomb.“Dr. Redelman is on board as our new laboratory director. She is local, only 30 minutes away in Andover. Lab staff, nursing staff, and providers have been trained on our updated policies and procedures. Everyone is determined for our lab to be a shining example of quality, safety, and compliance going forward,” Graham said.\The laboratory continues 24/7 inpatient services and is open for outpatient services Monday-Friday from 7:30am to 4:30pm.