As part of Alameda Health System’s (AHS) comprehensive COVID-19 response and recovery plan, the system opened its first ambulatory drive-through and walk-up testing site at San Leandro Hospital (SLH) for AHS patients on Wednesday, May 13, 2020.
After being evaluated by an AHS physician, symptomatic patients who meet the criteria for COVID-19 and receive a doctor’s order are directed to SLH for testing. Testing for AHS Ambulatory patients is available Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the SLH parking lot.
On opening day, medical staff in the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) greeted patients, confirmed their doctor’s order, quickly registered them, and prepared the necessary swabs for COVID-19 tests while patients remained in their cars or sat in designated areas. Patients were finished and on their way in 10 minutes or less.
“Standing up this testing site was a true AHS team effort,” said Felicia Tornabene, MD and associate chief medical officer for AHS. “The contributions of every department and discipline across the system can be seen here today.”
California Governor Gavin Newsom’s roadmap to reopening the state includes a major increase in testing, and opening the testing site at SLH is one way AHS is helping to make that happen.
“COVID testing is a national priority and an essential foundational pillar to reopening,” said Neha Gupta, MD and medical director for PRIME and ambulatory transformation. “We are excited to be bringing testing to the patients we serve at AHS.”
Patients arriving at SLH for testing already had a phone visit with their physician who ordered the test and scheduled a follow-up visit for three to five days to discuss results. “During their medical appointment, we are letting patients know that they will receive their test results during their follow-up visit or sooner depending on result availability,” says Gupta.
Moving forward, plans and protocols will be put in place to scale-up testing to serve more patients. “Initially this testing site is for symptomatic patients who receive care in our clinics,” said Rachel Baden MD, chair of the AHS department of medicine. Soon, we hope to open this up for other AHS patients, including those who may need pre-op screenings to have necessary surgeries or other procedures in our health care system.”
Although testing for AHS staff will not be provided at the SLH testing site, AHS does have a process for staff who meet criteria to be tested in a collaborative effort between Employee Health and Urgent Care. “In our ongoing efforts to support the health and safety of our workforce and because testing for COVID-19 has improved significantly, we can now offer testing to symptomatic employees who meet certain criteria,” said Terrie Dixon, Director of employee health services.
Dixon said employees with COVID-19 symptoms may contact either their primary care provider or the Urgent Care Clinic at email@example.com for testing.
See information from Alameda County Public health about testing in the community.