Thanks to high end technology that carries the name "Nexus" diagnostic laboratories, a proficient system has given the local medical community fast and accurate blood testing acuity.

According to Marianne Welch, director of the Conway Regional Medical Center laboratory,

"This system allows physicians to obtain results of blood testing electronically the same day. Again, with the convenience of patients in mind, we have also changed the accessibility of lab services at the hospital and throughout medical entities in the city of Conway."

Much of this is possible by virtue of the Nexus medical diagnostics testing provider that helps individuals and doctors in their pursuit of health care decisions. This is done in hospitals, nursing homes, physicians’ offices and other medical entities.

The Conway hospital offers a considerable number of tests in many accessible locations in the city, and even elsewhere, easing burdens for patients whose medical condition requires testing on weekly, monthly or quarterly basis.

Another option now gives patients visiting the hospital the opportunity for testing of blood glucose, cholesterol or other kinds of tests in a station on the east end of the Conway Regional Hospital, Welch calls it the "east lobby draw station."

This new station foregoes the trek for people who before visited the main lab on the west side of the hospital.

For others who wish, their lab specimens may be collected off-campus at the Conway Regional Imaging Center located at 555 Club Lane. Specimens may also be collected at any participating doctor’s office or nursing home in Conway and throughout a six-county coverage area.

In fact, through Nexus, physicians in Clinton, Heber Springs, Russellville, Perryville can get one-day results, says Nexus official Lisa McDonald.

"Nexus carrier service picks up patients’ lab specimens from participating physicians’ clinics, nursing homes and other health care providers in six adjoining counties," she said.

"The specimens — about 200 a day — are processed quickly, labeled with a complete identifier of the patient and then delivered to the Conway Regional Lab, put on analyzers and made ready for testing," she explained.

"In the event of an emergency, the doctor is called on the telephone with the results or otherwise the information is emailed to them," she said. "In most instances, physicians are able to receive testing results electronically in their offices the same day."

Once in the hospital lab, one or more of hundreds of available tests are performed on the specimens. In addition, modern computerized analyzers are used to perform many different tests simultaneously on one small sample of blood. Since blood is the main transport system of the body, such tests are used to check on the health of major organs as well as on respiratory functions, hormonal balance, the immune system and metabolism.

"We have more than 500 samples for testing a day," says Welch, who suggests that the hospital lab is working at capacity. McDonald adds that "Welch has her hands full."

In effect, the connection with Nexus which began about a year ago, allows the hospital, through its lab, to enjoy several elements in its work to offer good health care. Hospital officials maintain that they are trying to deliver a range of services to people at a reasonable cost and with a consistent level of quality.

"In effect, we are providing the doctors the results from diagnostic testing so they are able to properly diagnose the ailments of the patient and put them on medications they need to be on," McDonald said. "For example, testing reveals how thin the blood is and if the patient needs to be on a blood thinner."

It was said that Nexus provides a critical, speedy service locally, unlike competing labs that are doing it differently, picking up specimens at the end of the day and sending them off via air to testing places around the country.

"We’re doing the same thing locally on the same day," she said.

Nexus employs several carriers who make collections twice a day, deliver the specimens to its headquarters and via its complicated systems, make the specimens ready for the hospital laboratory.

The marriage of Nexus and the lab at Conway Regional Hospital is working well, say Welch and McDonald. "She does best on the front end collecting the specimens and we do best with the end product in our lab" Welch maintains.

Before Nexus, the volume of work at the hospital lab was much less, Welch recalls. "But since going with Nexus we have increased our work load by a third to half the volume. Previously, we were trying to handle it all though the hospital," she said. "But with the volume of work brought in by Nexus, there was no way we could manage it without enjoying this kind of arrangement with Nexus."