SGMC to Get New Outpatient Lab

Patients of South Georgia Medical Center will no longer board a trailer when they need to have their blood drawn.

After five years a trailer-turned laboratory will no longer sit in the parking lot of the outpatient center at South Georgia Medical Center. Instead, patients will go to a new facility that lab officials say will offer many conveniences to everyone.

Lorraine Okuma, the lab manager, says, "It's a more convenient location to find. It's closer to the main streets, so they'll find it easier. The access to the building is much easier than access to this building and they won't get confused with our outpatient surgery center that is right next door."

Patients are looking forward to the additional collection room, which means faster service and less waiting.

Clarence Wells, a patient, says, "That'll be great because people have to wait a long time, especially elderly people. They get kind of impatient, so it'll just be very great."

Okuma adds,”We’ll be able to handle more of our patients and much faster. It's more streamline so we should be able to get them in and out. The goal is 15 minutes from the time they come in and 15 minutes later they're walking back out after they've finished with the phlebotomy process."

Lab technicians say they've been anticipating the move because the new space is much closer to their main laboratory. The walk-in lab trailer will close permanently this Friday at noon.

Lab technicians will start seeing patients at the new location in the doctor's office building starting Tuesday.