New technology at Peterborough’s drive-through COVID-19 clinic makes testing process faster and more accurate

Clinic first in Ontario to use handheld devices for automation of laboratory requisitions

A member of Peterborough County/City Paramedics displays the handheld device paramedics use at the drive-through COVID-19 testing clinic in Peterborough to digitially capture patient information for the laboratory requisition. According to the Peterborough Regional Health Centre (PRHC), the clinic is the first in Ontario to use the technology. (Photo courtesy of PRHC)

The drive-through COVID-19 testing clinic in Peterborough is now using handheld scanning technology to make the testing process faster and more accurate.

The clinic is the first in Ontario to use the technology, according to a media release from the Peterborough Regional Health Centre (PRHC).

When people arrive at the clinic for testing, staff use a handheld device to scan their health card and driver’s licence to digitally capture patient information for the laboratory requisition.

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Barcoded labels are also used for all tests done at the centre.

Benefits of the new system include more complete and higher-quality data when capturing patient information, more legible lab requisitions (making it easier for lab staff to process each test), and faster processing and easier matching of the lab requisition to the test.

First introduced at the clinic last Wednesday (September 2), the scanning technology was used for 1,523 people coming for tests.

When people arrive for a test at the drive-through COVID-19 testing clinic in Peterborough, staff use a handheld device to scan their health card and driver's licence to digitally capture patient information for the laboratory requisition. This ensures more complete and legible information accompanies the lab requisition for the test. (Photo courtesy of PRHC)
When people arrive for a test at the drive-through COVID-19 testing clinic in Peterborough, staff use a handheld device to scan their health card and driver’s licence to digitally capture patient information for the laboratory requisition. This ensures more complete and legible information accompanies the lab requisition for the test. (Photo courtesy of PRHC)

The centre is led by Peterborough County/City Paramedics with support from Peterborough Regional Health Centre (PRHC), Peterborough Public Health (PPH), and the City of Peterborough, who worked with the Ministry of Health to introduce the new technology.

Initally located at Kinsmen Civic Centre, the clinic for people without COVID-19 symptoms is now located at Northcrest Arena (100 Marina Blvd, Peterborough). It’s open from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on week days.

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