Community Health and Wellness (CHW), Torrington, CT, is the first of 17 Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC) in Connecticut and one of the few healthcare facilities in the state to acquire an innovative new COVID-19 testing booth, developed by Kewaunee Scientific Corporation, Statesville, North Carolina.
The booth offers a protective barrier between the patient and the healthcare worker conducting the test, keeping both the patients and clinicians safe. It also eliminates the need for professionals to don personal protective equipment (PPE) including gloves, masks, and gowns, which are nationally in short supply. In addition, the booth can easily be decontaminated.
The self-contained booth helps address the rising number of COVID-19 cases burdening hospitals and health systems across the country and creating a shortage of PPE, keeping clinicians on the front lines safe while preserving PPE. Some of its features include: filtering system with prefilter and HEPA filter; transparent front panel; chemical-resistant gloves; and reducing the post-test sterilizing process to one minute.
For testing, patients walk up to the free-standing booth located outside the CHW medical lobby. A nurse stands inside, and since they are fully protected there is no need for them to wear PPE. They slip their hands and arms through two portholes with arm-length, built-in rubber gloves. Then, with the gloves reaching out toward the patient, they can safely swab the patient and bag the specimen without leaving the booth.
“The use of the testing booth enables us to conserve our protective equipment while allowing our staff to collect a COVID specimen from patients who are unable to self-collect,” says Michelle Brady, CHW director of nursing, who coordinates the center’s COVID-19 testing initiative.
“Keeping our patients and staff safe during these unprecedented times is our top priority,” says Joanne Borduas, CHW CEO. “Our state-of-the art protective booth is one example of how Community Health and Wellness is working to make a difference in patient care. It’s safe for our medical staff who are swabbing, it’s safe for the patients, and it is conserving our inventory of PPE. I’m very excited to offer this service to our community.”