We are proud to serve unique and diverse communities across Canada. Whether it’s a group of patients with similar health conditions, or neighbourhoods in dire need, we are committed to working alongside communities to support accessible healthcare.
Partnering for Patient-Centered Care
For patients with red blood cell disorders, managing their healthcare can require monthly blood transfusions. As a result of multiple transfusions over time, finding a compatible match can be a time-consuming process where patients have to wait upwards of six hours in hospital until the best match is found. Several years ago, the blood transfusion department at University Health Network (UHN www.uhn.ca) in Toronto reached out with the hope that our expertise in blood collection could help alleviate this problem.
Today, patients in the York Region area can now book a quick, 15-minute blood collection appointment at three conveniently located LifeLabs patient service centres (PSCs). From there, LifeLabs transports the samples to UHN, where hospital employees find a match prior to the transfusion date, saving patients valuable time, undue hassle, and travel costs associated with frequent and long hospital visits. Currently, LifeLabs sees over 150 patient visits for this service each year.
The collection of red blood cell crossmatch samples by LifeLabs staff for testing at UHN’s Toronto General Hospital has significantly improved workflow for both the hospital blood bank and outpatient Medical Day Unit, and has been warmly embraced by patients.
Improving Access to Care – Vancouver’s Downtown East Side
For over 12 years, LifeLabs has partnered with healthcare clinics in Vancouver’s Downtown East Side to provide our services to patients without the documentation required to access healthcare services. Through this program, we can provide critical healthcare — including vital blood tests and treatment — for patients without proper identification.
Arlie Nesbitt and Jan Gibbons, both Phlebotomists at LifeLabs, spend most of their days collecting blood tests and medical samples from vulnerable patients in the heart of Vancouver’s Downtown East Side. Many of the men and women who visit this location are unable to see a doctor because they don’t have the proper identification.
In B.C., like other provinces in Canada, patients are required to present a health card to access services in order for healthcare providers to receive reimbursement from government. However, some Downtown East Side residents do not have this type of identification due to homelessness, drug addiction, or mental illness. In 2006, LifeLabs formed a partnership with healthcare clinics in the Downtown East Side to provide blood collection and testing services for these individuals who would otherwise be unable to receive medical services. In 2017, we provided more than $80,000 of in-kind testing services.
Community and collaboration form the pillars of this program. LifeLabs looks forward to this continued partnership as a proud member of Vancouver’s Downtown East Side.
Anybody who shows up at our door, we’re willing to help. There are many people in the community who spend most of their day trying to find their next hot meal or a safe place to stay for the night. We are able to help lessen their burden by providing accessible and high-quality lab care without judgement or stigma.
Bree Lillies, Contracts Manager, was one of the first people involved in the partnership and has seen firsthand the impact this offering has provided to the community.
We see many people who for various reasons need our help.