**** NSHA Media Release
NSHA working to address issues with blood collection appointment telephone booking process
Nova Scotia Health Authority (NSHA) is working to address issues and delays people are currently experiencing when they call to book a blood collection appointment.
“We know patients are having difficulty getting through our phone lines to make an appointment for blood collection,” said Shauna Thompson, NSHA Senior Director, Pathology and Laboratory Medicine. “This is very frustrating for callers. We sincerely want to apologize for these current delays, and ask for your patience while we work to address the issue, and improve the appointment booking service.”
NSHA is working with our telephone service provider to find solutions to the issues caused by the large number of people calling at peak times. Callers who have problems are asked to try again in an hour or so, as opposed to pressing re-dial immediately. This will help spread out the call volume as much as possible.
The move to provide blood collection at most sites by appointment only, as opposed to a walk-in service, is part of NSHA’s response to COVID-19. This has included focusing Laboratory Services on urgent testing, to make sure there is capacity to maintain testing for COVID-19. Physicians and healthcare providers have been asked to support the laboratory by restricting ordering for blood work to patients requiring urgent or time-sensitive testing for immediate diagnosis and management of chronic illness.
Requiring booked appointments is also a key part of being able to maintain physical/social distancing in our waiting areas. When coming for blood collection, people are asked to please arrive only at the time of the appointment. Do not show up early. This will help us maintain physical distancing, and avoid congestion in waiting areas.
The telephone appointment booking system will be monitored and we hope to see improvements for callers as we move forward. Pathology and Laboratory Medicine is actively working to implement a long term solution that will make it easier and more convenient for people to make blood collection appointments, no matter where they are calling from.
For more information on blood collection locations, visit NSHA’s blood collection page: www.nshealth.ca/blood-collection