Unlocking the Clues to Your Health
Paul N. Fiedler, M.D.
Chairman, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
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Western Connecticut Health Network expands laboratory services and testing in the community
How are you feeling today? Please step on the scale. Take a deep breath and breathe out slowly. Every time someone sees a healthcare professional, the examination typically begins with a basic verbal and physical assessment of one’s health. From blood pressure and heart rate screening to height and weight measurements, the combination of these checks and balances paints a picture of that person’s overall condition that is only a starting point to help maintain or improve one’s health over the long haul.
For patients throughout our region each year, Western Connecticut Health Network performs more than 2.3 million laboratory tests on human blood and tissue samples to help their physicians further clarify vital signs and answer hundreds of health questions. For example, simple blood tests can confirm if someone is pregnant and whether their cholesterol is too high, while biopsies and other tests can confirm the presence of infection, cancer or another disease.
“Health care is moving at an increasingly fast pace, and patients are moving in many directions – which is why we are integrating laboratory services across Danbury and New Milford hospitals, and in communities throughout the region,” said Paul Fiedler, MD, the newly appointed chairman of laboratory medicine.
Beginning in 2011, the network affiliated with the renowned Mayo Clinic headquartered in Rochester, Minnesota, whose medical practice and medical research group specialize in the diagnosis and treatment for difficult patients (tertiary care), receiving requests for consultation from across the U.S. and the world. While Western Connecticut Health Network performs expert assessment for 97 percent of its laboratory testing right here in Connecticut, the remainder will go to Mayo Clinic when additional scientific evaluation is necessary.
“This relationship secures some of the most advanced testing capabilities in the world for the small number of tests that may need to leave our laboratory for more detailed recommendations. As part of our outreach strategy, the testing at both hospitals will now focus on inpatients and patients in the Emergency Department. Our outpatients may use any of our five stand-alone outreach locations, or Patient Service Centers. We strive to send our patients to the right place for the right care, always with the goal of keeping them close to home,” Dr. Fiedler said.
While many patients simply want highly skilled phlebotomists and convenience, their physicians want high-quality evaluation services with quick turnaround on results,” he explained. “As a high-volume, front line service working to meet patient needs, the laboratory has centralized scheduling to one phone number, increased pick-up for samples, and is looking to expand the number of Patient Service Centers in the community,” explained Dr. Fiedler.
The current Patient Service Centers -- in Brookfield, Danbury, New Milford, Ridgefield and Southbury – are highly accessible with extended hours and free, ample parking. Plans include the opening of a new location in Bethel later in 2012.
For patients, it’s all good news. “They will have even more locations for convenient laboratory specimen collection moving forward, all with a consistent look, feel and customer service in keeping with the high quality of Western Connecticut Health Network. Best practices from both Danbury and New Milford hospitals backed by the Mayo Clinic have already reduced patient wait time dramatically, from an average of 1.5 hours to 15 minutes. And through the Mayo Clinic affiliation, patients and physicians will benefit from the knowledge of a worldwide network of experts,” Dr. Fiedler said.
Laboratory Patient Service Centers
Western Connecticut Health Network’s laboratory offers a full range of testing services at the following locations. For appointments, call (203) 739-4999.
Greenknoll Professional Building
60 Old New Milford Road
Monday – Friday: 7:30 am – 4 pm; Saturday: 9 am – 1 pm
79 Sand Pit Road, Suite 202
Monday – Friday: 6:30 am – 5 pm; Saturday: 6:30 am – 1 pm
New Milford, CT
120 Park Lane
Monday – Friday: 7 am - 5 pm; Saturday: 7 am – 1 pm
10 South Street
Monday – Friday: 7:30 am – 3:30 pm
22 Old Waterbury Road Monday – Friday: 7:30 am – 4 pm
For more information about Western Connecticut Health Network laboratory testing sites and services, visit us online at WesternConnecticutHealthNetwork.org, or call 1-800-482-1387.
About Western Connecticut Health Network
Western Connecticut Health Network is the region’s premiere, patient-centered health care organization serving residents of Western Connecticut and adjacent New York. The organization is anchored by two nationally recognized hospitals, Danbury Hospital and New Milford Hospital, as well as their affiliated organizations. In addition to the two hospitals, the continuum of care offered includes the following affiliates:
Western Connecticut Health Network has centers of excellence in women’s health, cardiovascular and cancer services; minimally invasive and joint and spine surgery; digestive disorders and radiology and diagnostic imaging. It also offers specialized programs for neonatology with a Level IIIb neonatal intensive care unit and accredited sleep disorder centers. Both hospitals also maintain active clinical research programs, offering clinical trials for patients with cancer and other health concerns.
For more information, visit WesternConnecticutHealthNetwork.org, DanburyHospital.org; NewMilfordHospital.org and share your comments with us Facebook.com/DanburyHospital or Facebook.com/NewMilfordHospital.