In-house blood drawing paves way for increased health efficiency and access. 

This summer, HealthFinders launched new phlebotomy services on Wednesdays in the Faribault Clinic, allowing patients to have blood drawn within the safe and convenient space of the clinic without having to travel to a different site for this work. 

Previously lab work was donated by Allina Health District One Hospital, and patients would follow-up there for lab appointments after their clinic appointments at HFC. With the continued support of Allina Health, patients needing blood tests now get blood drawn in the HealthFinders Faribault Clinic. Then the samples are spun in a centrifuge, Allina Health couriers pick them up, complete the tests, and send results back to HealthFinders. This change is more efficient for the hospital and HFC staff, saving resources, and most importantly more efficient for patients, improving access to care.    

This has only been possible through the dedication of volunteer Medical Lab Technician Kathie Smestad. Kathie has always been involved with the community and saw HealthFinders as a new opportunity to help her neighbors, stating that her relationship with the clinic was “meant to be.” 

Providing in-house blood draws has a great impact. Not only is the process simpler for the patient, but it’s also done within the familiar environment of the  HealthFinders clinic, where patients are comfortable.  As Kathie comments: “It’s easy to walk across the hall and get your blood drawn. And why shouldn’t it be? Our patients should have the same privileges as all other patients.” This important development demonstrates that HealthFinders is actively working towards its mission to ensure that all people in the community have access to healthcare resources no matter their life circumstances.  

The success of this phlebotomy initiative would not have been possible without the generosity of Allina Health.  Not only have they donated all equipment and supplies necessary for blood draws, but they have also given Kathie support during the implementation of this service: “Allina has been awesome, they are always just a text away,” says Kathie.“My first two days, their staff came in to check how I was doing four times. They’ll give us anything we need.” Allina’s support of this service expansion exemplifies the importance of HealthFinders’ partners in achieving success for the community. 

Simplifying and streamlining lab work is an important step in gaining greater in-clinic capacity,  as HealthFinders continues to grow and develop in order to serve the community and achieve the mission of providing quality care to all who need it.