Eastern Health Resumes Outpatient Blood Collection and Medical Imaging Services

 November 12, 2021 – St. John’s, NL: Eastern Health advises that it will be proceeding with outpatient blood collection and medical imaging services starting on Monday, November 15, 2021 following confirmation from the Newfoundland and Labrador Centre for Health Information (NLCHI) that these IT systems are now functional.

Blood Collection

Patients who were previously booked for outpatient blood collection starting on November 15, should proceed to their appointments. The process for those who have missed their blood collection appointments are as follows:

St. John’s and rural Avalon

  • Any patient who missed their appointment from November 1 to 12 must call their local number which can be found at www.easternhealth.ca/find-health-care/blood-collection/ to rebook their appointment starting on Monday, November 15.
  • Patients who are booking new appointments must bring their laboratory requisition to the appointment as physicians are unable to submit requisitions directly to the collection site.  Please note if your physician submitted the requisition before October 29, it will still be available at the designated site.
  • Online bookings are also resuming on Monday.

Clarenville, Bonavista and Burin Peninsulas

  • Eastern Health will contact clients directly to reschedule appointments which were missed from November 1 to 12.
  • Patients who are booking new appointments must bring their laboratory requisition to the appointment as physicians are unable to submit requisitions directly to the collection site.  Please note if your physician submitted the requisition before October 29, it will still be available at the designated site.

In addition, inpatient laboratory services have resumed effective November 12 and routine orders for laboratory services can now be placed.

Medical Imaging

Starting Monday, November 15, 2021, medical imaging will be focusing on priority cases and addressing missed appointments from the period of October 30, 2021 through November 12, 2021. Patients will be contacted directly to confirm their appointment day and time. Nuclear Medicine and PET-CT remain limited to urgent cases only and those patients will also be contacted directly.

Eastern Health continues to gradually increase services as IT systems that rely on integration with other applications are brought back online in a safe and controlled manner. Further changes to service delivery will be communicated as information becomes available.

Patients and clients are being contacted directly if their appointment is going ahead including those who need to travel a long distance for their appointment. If patients and clients have not been contacted directly, they should assume that their appointments have been cancelled. Patients are advised to answer unknown telephone numbers as it may be your health-care team calling to schedule an appointment. In addition, for those patients who are travelling long distances for an appointment, where possible, ample time will be given to accommodate those travel needs.

For a list of up-to-date service information, patients can visit the IT Systems Outage webpage at www.easternhealth.ca/it-systems-outage/service-impacts/. Patients who have questions regarding appointments, procedures and surgeries scheduled for this time period may call the temporary patient inquiries line: 1-833-777-1276.

As part of the on-going investigation into a cyber attack that impacted health care IT systems, it has been determined that some personal information (PI) and personal health information (PHI) was taken from these systems. For more information, please visit www.gov.nl.ca/hcs/information-and-updates-on-cyber-incident/.

If patients feel there has been a change in their health status, they should contact their physician or nurse practitioner for an appointment. Patients who do not have a family doctor or a regular health provider can call the 811 NL Health Line (811 / TTY 1-888-709-3555) to speak to a registered nurse 24 hours a day, seven days a week about any health issue or concern.

Individuals who are experiencing an emergency should proceed to the nearest emergency department, or call 911 for an ambulance. Those who are experiencing a mental health crisis should call 709-737-4668 or toll-free at 1-888-737-4668.

We also thank the public for their continued patience, recognizing that many services have experienced unexpected or unavoidable delays. Eastern Health recognizes the impacts to patients, clients and residents and we apologize for the inconvenience.

We are committed to keeping the public informed about this unanticipated disruption in services. Updates will be provided as information becomes available via Eastern Health’s website at www.easternhealth.ca and social media platforms, Facebook (www.facebook.com/EasternHealthNL) and Twitter (@EasternHealthNL).

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