Stanford tests "drive-thru" medical treatment


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A test of the approach is planned for Friday at Stanford University, the first test of its kind in the U.S., Stanford health officials said. It offers a potential alternative to the standard walk-in system for screening and treating patients.

"The main idea is to avoid infection," Dr. Eric Weiss, the hospital's medical director for disaster planning, said in a statement.

"We feel that this mechanism of screening and evaluating patients during a pandemic will be safer for both patients and health care providers and much faster than traditional methods," he said.

Friday's exercise involves medical staff at several screening and treatment stations with portable digital monitors, and portable labs for blood and other specimen testing. They will also test a drive-through plan for giving out medications or administering vaccines.

Stanford Hospital officials said the federal government may consider results of the test for incorporation into a new protocol at hospitals nationwide during pandemic emergencies.

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