When lab personnel at Stevens Community Medical Center considered a design for a new lab area, they knew they needed a layout that worked as well for one working employee as it did for several working employees.

Corinne Kirk, laboratory director at SCMC, believes the goal was accomplished.

"We were trying to do a natural flow," Kirk said. "We have one person who works at night. We needed to design to flow for one person...and design it so it was convenient for five lab technicians..."

"That was the key," Randee Steen said of the workflow design for one person working or five people working. Nine people work in the SCMC lab.

SCMC is able to accomplish most of the lab work needed to analyze blood, Kirk said. The lab has added services over the years that it once had to use an outside source for. As the lab has added services, they made adjustments to the former lab, Kirk said.

"We've grown over the years," Kirk said. Kirk has been with SCMC for 16 years. "We've done two major revisions to the old lab. We've completely outgrown it."

The lab features two islands of workspace areas as well as space along the walls for different work and clear separations between each type of work. The lab also includes a separate room for microbiology work.

Steen said the islands mean the staff is not squeezing past each other as they move around the lab.

Kirk said the microroom is where microorganisms are grown so that SCMC can determine what will kill the organism.

"I love it," Kayla Arnold said. "My old microroom was more of a hallway."

A separate room also allows Arnold to work uninterrupted in the mornings.

Cindy Riedner has worked in the SCMC lab for roughly 40 years. She's worked through more than one renovation.

"We have storage here," Riedner said. "We have a place here to keep supplies so we don't have to constantly be on the run."

Riedner appreciates that the blood bank area has a separate part of the lab room. "It's not as distracting," she said of her new area.

The former lab had much closer quarters, Riedner said.

Kirk said the renovation also changed the drawing room for patients. Patients are now in private drawing areas for lab work. That change is also one of the best of the new lab, Kirk said.

One other highlight of the new lab is the windows. Staff said they appreciate the natural light from the windows along a main wall.

"I do not miss the old lab," Riedner said .