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Norton Healthcare to build permanent express testing center

Lessons from COVID-19 lead to plans for a permanent drive-thru facility

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Norton Healthcare officials announced Friday an innovative concept in medical care that gives the community another option for low-contact health screenings. A permanent drive-thru/walk-up express health care site will be built on the corner of Breckenridge Lane and Taylorsville Road, and will offer health screenings and testing, vaccinations, diagnostics and lab work. Additional locations are being considered.

While health systems have constructed temporary tent and curbside testing areas, this is believed to be the first permanent structure of its kind in Kentucky.

“COVID-19 taught us a great deal about new ways we can provide medical care to our community,” said Russell F. Cox, president and CEO, Norton Healthcare. “We quickly expanded our telehealth services, but we also began offering drive-thru pre-admission testing and health checks, as well as COVID-19 testing.

“We heard from our community that they liked the convenience of both of these, so we have developed a way that we can expand beyond COVID-19.”

This concept will be similar to other drive-thru business models for banks, vehicle maintenance and, in some areas of the country, city services such as vehicle registrations.

Individuals will drive into a covered location and stay in their vehicle for services such as vaccines, lab work and minor tests. Walk-up patients also will be accommodated. A provider order will be needed for some offerings beyond routine vaccinations.

When offered in conjunction with telehealth visits where individuals can stay within the confines of home to receive care, this option provides fast, convenient care from a vehicle.

“This is especially helpful for seniors and those who may be immunocompromised,” Cox said. “But it will be available to anyone who wishes to use this option, including busy parents whose children need the kinds of services available at the testing site.”

A relationship with a medical provider is an important part of maintaining health. Testing centers and telehealth visits provide a convenient alternative, but do not replace important in-person visits.