Hospitals Creating Drive-Thru Specimen Collection Sites to Combat COVID-19

Staff Report From South Carolina CEO

Thursday, April 2nd, 2020

One of the many proactive steps South Carolina hospitals have taken in recent days in response to the spread of the coronavirus is to streamline the speed, convenience and safety of both screening and collecting specimens for testing. This has involved both the utilization of free telehealth screenings (MUSC Health, Prisma Health, McLeod Health, and Roper St. Francis Healthcare are all currently providing this service free of charge with the promo code COVID19) as well as setting up drive-thru specimen collection sites on their campuses that allow pre-screened patients to stay in their vehicle throughout the process. Patients are seen by appointment only.

Despite the simplicity of this design, there’s a great deal of thought and consideration that goes into creating these collection sites. Hospitals should make sure there are adequate walkways for staff, that there’s a safety procedure (including the use of appropriate PPE, or personal protective equipment) for interacting with patients and handling specimens. making hygiene supplies readily accessible, and even consider setting up portable showers and bathroom for staff. Signage encouraging vehicles keep their windows rolled up and providing an early-exit lane for those who haven’t been prescreened or accidentally end up in the queue have also been some of the logistical innovations SCHA has already seen.

Here are the current appointment only drive-thru sites that SCHA is aware of—we’ll update this list as more information comes in:

MUSC Health (Charleston / Lowcountry)

Prisma Health Richland (Columbia / Midlands)

Self Regional Healthcare (Greenwood / Midlands and/or Upstate)

MUSC Health Lancaster Medical Center (Lancaster / Upstate)

AnMed Health Women’s and Children Hospital (Anderson / Upstate)

Beaufort Memorial Hospital (Beaufort / Lowcountry)

McLeod Regional Medical Center of the Pee Dee (Florence / Pee Dee)

McLeod Health Clarendon (Clarendon / Pee Dee)

McLeod Health Cheraw (Cheraw / Upstate)

McLeod Loris (Loris / Pee Dee)

McLeod Seacoast (Little River / Pee Dee)

McLeod Medical Center Dillon (Dillon / Pee Dee)

Update: DHEC is now publishing the locations of both specimen collection and alternate care sites on an interactive map on their website.