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'Obvious Consequences' 


Increasing productivity is the catch phrase that all employees nowadays hear at Providence/Saint Joseph Hospital. This has been the model for many years. Unfortunately it has taken away from patient care, satisfaction and safety. Many of the departments that used to be local have either moved down to Southern California, or north to Oregon and Washington. Some of these changes affect not only the employees but also the Humboldt County community. Most recently, a decision was made to close all of the outpatient lab processing run by Providence and contract processing out to LabCorp like they have throughout the rest of the Providence/Saint Joseph health care system ("'A Critical Decision,'" Jan. 18). This is bad idea for a variety of reasons. LabCorp's purchase of the 23rd Street lab will result in most specimens being sent to the Bay Area. This leads to time lost in testing and getting results. This can be terrible for lab tests that require quick turnaround, such as with oncology care. LabCorp's history of losing specimens (refer to recent article in the Lost Coast Outpost) has all sorts of obvious consequences.

Other clinics have counted on SJH for timely accurate labs, and this will be lost if LabCorp does not have processing in the area. Humboldt County has long suffered from its remoteness. Local out-patient lab processing would go a long way toward sustaining the original mission of Providence/Saint Joseph Hospital to serve our local community.

Nina Greenberg, Eureka

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