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Quick and Convenient: DCMC’s Laboratory Drive-Thru Coming Soon!

DCMC Lab Drive-ThruDoor County Medical Center is proud to announce it will be opening a comprehensive Laboratory Drive-Thru on October 1st, providing all patients over the age of 10 with access to fast, convenient, and high quality care from the comfort of their car.

Located in the same building that has provided COVID-19 tests since the spring of 2020, the Laboratory Drive-Thru will provide Door County residents with an easy way to:

  • Get blood drawn—the Laboratory Drive-Thru will be able to perform the same blood draws, for the same panels and tests, as the main hospital lab.

  • Get urine tests—the Drive-Thru will provide patients with a collection kit to take home. Patients can return to the drive through later to drop their specimen off, or bring it the next time they come into the clinic for an appointment.

  • Get tested—COVID-19 tests will still be available at the Laboratory Drive-Thru.

  • Get vaccinated—the Drive-Thru will also offer flu, COVID-19 and flu+COVID vaccines and boosters. Vaccines are available only on scheduled days. For a list of days and times that vaccines and boosters are available at the Laboratory Drive-Thru click here.

“The lab drive-thru is an off-shoot of our Sturgeon Bay Clinic lab,” says Jane Metko, Director of Laboratory Services at Door County Medical Center. “There are no extra fees, and when you come into the Drive-Thru, you’ll see the same friendly faces that you would if you were coming into the hospital lab.”

A fast and convenient option for Door County residents

DCMC Lab Drive-Thru VaccinationsThe Laboratory Drive-Thru offers DCMC’s earliest lab appointment times—opening at 6am on weekdays and making it a fast and convenient option for people who need to schedule a lab appointment into their busy day. “It’s also a convenient alternative for patients who might have children or a pet with them in the car, or who would rather not brave the elements in the middle of February,” Metko notes, adding “And, it’s also an excellent option for anyone with a mobility issue.”

Laboratory Drive-Thrus are not a common feature of most hospitals. In fact, DCMC’s will be only the second Laboratory Drive-Thru in the State of Wisconsin. The decision to create a Laboratory Drive-Thru option for DCMC patients initially came out of discussion that revolved around closing the hospital’s remote COVID-19 testing site.

Last spring, as COVID-19 test volumes began decreasing, Metko and Laboratory Assistant Supervisor Devin Vandertie were part of a committee looking to determine how best to increase staff efficiency by moving the remote COVID-19 testing site into the main hospital’s laboratory. “Devin and I flipped that idea on its head,” Metko relates. “Instead of moving the COVID-19 testing site into the hospital,” she continues, “we thought bringing other services to the COVID-19 Drive-Thru would create greater staffing efficiency while simultaneously improving patient access—that’s how the Laboratory Drive-Thru was born.”

Building a patient-friendly experience

Once the possibility of a comprehensive Laboratory Drive-Thru was established, Metko and Vandertie reached out to similar facilities across the country to learn about their experiences with drive-thru laboratories, and set up a trial Laboratory Drive-Thru over the course of several weekends. “Overall, patients loved the convenience and easy access, so it just made sense to move ahead,” Metko says, “but,” she adds, “many of the trial participants felt the aesthetic of the building could be improved to look more like a healthcare facility.” 

In the spring of 2020, two-thirds of Door County Medical Center’s ambulance garage suddenly transformed into a SARS-CoV-2 testing site—effectively changing it into a “pop-up” healthcare facility. Never intended for permanent use as a medical facility, DCMC spent a year converting the space into a patient-friendly and comprehensive hospital laboratory. “We took feedback from our trial run in the COVID drive-thru and built out two additional bays,” Metko remarks. “We wanted to ensure the space both looked professional and that the lab team and patients were comfortable. To that end, we have included an HVAC system, extra infrared heaters, and fast roll-up garage doors to maintain as much temperature control as possible.”

When visiting the Laboratory Drive-thru

Family ready for lab drive-thruBe prepared with access to your “best” arm. We will draw from your left arm if you are the driver, and your right arm if you are in the passenger seat. If you have one arm that works better than the other, consider that when choosing your seat. Also, consider your wardrobe before arriving—wear clothing with either short or loose sleeves that can be rolled up well above the elbow.

For most people the lab drive-thru is a completely safe and efficient option. However, if blood draws make you light-headed or squeamish, or if you have a history of fainting or nausea with a blood draw, please make sure to schedule your draw inside our clinic location so we can give you a little extra TLC. 

Scheduling an appointment

Scheduling a Laboratory Drive-Thru appointment is just as easy as scheduling labs has been in the past. To ensure that your experience is as fast and seamless as possible:

  • Schedule your appointment with your patient portal—request the Laboratory Drive-Thru either through your patient portal or when you call for an appointment.

  • Make your appointment at least 2 days in advance so that we can review your orders with your clinician and ensure we have all the test orders that we need. If you have lab orders from a clinician outside of DCMC, please have them fax your orders in advance to 920-746-3660, so we can be prepared when you arrive.

  • Use your patient portal to complete registration in advance—register, upload insurance cards, and sign consent forms before your visit.

To schedule your Laboratory Drive-Thru through the patient portal click here. To schedule an appointment by phone call 920-743-5566. For additional information on the Laboratory Drive-Thru, please visit our Lab Drive-Thru page.

The Laboratory Drive-Thru is located at 319 S. 18th Avenue, at the entrance to Door County Medical Center’s Sturgeon Bay campus.

Opening Day is October 1st. Drive-thru hours are Monday–Friday, 6am to 2pm, and Saturday, 7am to 11am.

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