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OSMH hopes new technology will ease crunch at assessment centre

On Tuesday, the local assessment centre saw a record 300 people; Local centre one of the first in the province to move to digital, hand-held scanners

Today, a lineup of more than 40 vehicles queued up on Mississaga Street as people waited to be seen at the COVID-19 Assessment Centre at Orillia Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital (OSMH).

The drive-thru facility has been busier than ever this week. On Tuesday, the centre recorded an all-time high of 300 tests.

Officials say the spike may be related to the positive test result this week for a Twin Lakes Secondary School teacher. You can read the story about that here.

With students back in classrooms and many activities ramping up, the assessment centre is likely to be a busy spot for a while.

New technology was unveiled today to help OSMH staff keep up with the demand and keep wait times as low as possible.

Orillia’s assessment centre is one of the first in the province to adopt a new electronic model that involves the use of handheld devices to create digitized COVID-19 lab requisitions. The program is part of the province’s automation project.

The goal is to improve the “quality and performance of end-to-end testing for patients, care providers and labs,” notes a news release from the hospital.

“As the demand for testing increases, this new technology enables us to increase our capacity allowing us to complete more tests each day,” said Carmine Stumpo, OSMH President and CEO.                                                                                                   

He said staff are excited to have the new technology deployed as they can now collect a patient’s information by scanning their health card and driver’s licence, capturing everything needed for a digital lab requisition.

The benefits of the new technology include:

  • More complete and higher-quality data when capturing patient information
  • Reducing manual data entry for staff by 50%, resulting in faster processing and easier matching of the requisition to the test
  • More legible requisitions, making it easier for laboratory staff to process each test

The Orillia Assessment Centre, which also conducts outreach testing at local long-term care and retirement homes has completed more than 12,000 tests since the pandemic was declared.

When coming to the Assessment Centre to be tested, officials suggest you bring your Ontario Health Card and driver’s licence with you if you have them. You can access your testing results using your Ontario Health Card number on the provincial online portal at or by calling your health-care provider.


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Dave Dawson

About the Author: Dave Dawson

Dave Dawson is community editor of
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