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E.J. Noble Hospital lab expands services

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GOUVERNEUR — E.J. Noble Hospital’s lab services are expanding with the approval of the state Health Department.

The list of on-site analysis of lab tests is growing, which means results will be available faster, speeding up diagnosis and treatment, especially for those receiving emergency care.

“This is a major step forward for E.J. Noble Hospital and our community,” CEO Marlinda L. LaValley said in a statement. “This approval was granted following a rigorous analysis by the state’s laboratory experts and reflects the very hard work our staff members have done to establish quality protocols that meet the state’s stringent requirements.”

The state shut down E.J. Noble’s lab Sept. 28 for deficiencies, which forced the closure of many of the hospital’s essential services. The state later allowed a partial reopening of the lab under the supervision of Samaritan Medical Center, Watertown.

With state approval, the arrangement with Samaritan will end in 30 days.

E.J. Noble, which has a management contract with Canton-Potsdam Hospital, Potsdam, has been diligent in making sure its laboratory policies and procedures meet the state’s approval, Canton-Potsdam’s spokeswoman Rebecca J. Faber said.

“It represents a great deal of work and a great deal of goodwill on the part of the state Health Department,” she said.

The blood bank remains closed and the hospital has not tried to have it reopened while it focuses on essential protocols. A blood bank is needed for most surgeries and to operate a maternity ward.

“The blood bank is off the table for now,” Ms. Faber said.

Tests now available at E.J. Noble include analysis of blood and urine samples to aid in the diagnosis of congestive heart failure, tests for the diagnosis and management of pancreatitis or other pancreatic diseases, drug and alcohol screenings, tests to determine abnormalities in pregnancy, screenings for heart and lung functioning as well as deep vein thrombosis and infections of the blood, among others.

E.J. Noble will file regular reports with the Health Department documenting its compliance with the state’s quality standards as part of a comprehensive quality assurance and performance improvement program. Dr. Gregory A. Threatte will oversee the program as the lab’s medical director. Dr. Threatte is chairman of the pathology department at SUNY’s Upstate Medical University, Syracuse. He also is medical director of the university’s core laboratory.

E.J. Noble’s laboratory is open 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays and 8 to 11 a.m. Saturdays for blood draws. No appointment is necessary. The hospital has two areas for collection: one is on the main floor near Kinney Nursing Home and the other is inside the doors of the new wing near the inpatient floor, which will open next week.

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