Featured Grant Healthcare The Hustle

Once an impatient patient, Sadeca Gullens now addresses wait times at her own health lab

Sadeca Gullens. Photo supplied.

Your health in your hands. SRG Health Labs stresses the importance of getting full medical lab work to get a better sense of your health, even when doctors are hesitant to run the tests that you want.

Sadeca Gullens always saw herself working in healthcare as a child. She teetered between whether to pursue a career as a doctor or a nurse, but becoming a  mom halted her from either career. Regardless, Gullens’ heart was still set on working in healthcare. She worked in production at Therma-Stor making humidifiers for 10 years, but her experiences as a mother with long waits for doctor’s appointments for her kids made her think that there has to be a better way. She started SRG Health Labs, 2317 International Ln, with the goal to make getting lab work done quicker without the hassle and long wait times.

“I wanted to work in healthcare and start a clinical lab because when I was younger, and having kids, I would go to a doctor’s appointment and they would take forever,” Gullens said. “I was like, ‘Something has got to be done about this.’ Nobody should go to a clinic and have to wait so long to be seen.”

Gullens initially started SRG Health Labs focused on wellness and body contouring. She obtained her phlebotomy certificate, and filed the required paperwork with the state, and started off with drug and alcohol testing. She expanded to DNA testing after about a year in business.

SRG Health Labs continued to expand, but expediency of service was still on the top of Gullens’ mind.

Gullens recalled an experience with a patient dealing with long wait times to get their lab work done. The patient sat for three hours at another lab waiting to be seen. When he came to SRG Health Labs for another round of labs, the patient was fully prepared for a long wait, with a book in hand to pass the time, and was left shocked with how quickly the process went. He was in and out of SRG Health Labs in 10 minutes, Gullens said.

“My thing is to have people in and out, drawn accurately and back on their way,” Gullens said. “I always thought there should be an easier way for people to come in … and get their labs done, and go back on about their day instead of having to spend hours waiting.”

Gullens is unsure why processes take as long as they do at other clinics. She draws back on her experiences with her children and drives to make everything run as smoothly as possible. For SRG Health Labs to accomplish that, everything lies in the prep work.

The initial walk-in information gathering can take a while, so Gullens has everything set up before they come in for their appointment. She prefers to not have walk-ins to stay true to her dedication to expediency and will push patients to not sit in the waiting room if, for some reason, the wait becomes too long. Gullens will, of course, tell them to come back later so they do not have to give up their day waiting in a lobby.

She also makes sure everything is stocked and ready to go — based on appointments for the day.

“Usually, I’ll get the day started by pulling out all the tools as needed. I’ll go off appointments for the day, make sure I have everything stocked that I need,” Gullens said.

But fast, accurate service isn’t all that separates SRG Health Labs from other clinics in the area.

The clinic offers a blood collection kit, a way to collect and transport blood samples to a biobank, which then provides samples for different studies. Biobanks programs typically let people learn things like how their DNA may influence overall health and wellness.

SRG Health Labs also allows the patient to put their access to their healthcare in their own hands. Types of labs that doctors won’t prescribe to patients are accessible to patients of SRG Health Labs, Gullens said.

“A lot of people like to go deeper into their health care,” Gullens said. “A lot of labs that we offer, a lot of the doctors won’t even prescribe them. They won’t put the order in.”

Gullens isn’t trying to pull away from doctors but knows that sometimes they won’t go deeper into a patient’s health despite them wanting to.

“Even when your doctors may tell you have high blood pressure… I had one client come in and they wanted to try to find out differently, but there were certain labs that they needed to have drawn to try to figure out the cause as to why they were having high blood pressure versus what the doctor was just trying to tell them,” Gullens said.

Doctors wouldn’t order the test for the patient, so they took it upon themselves to order it online and bring it to SRG Health Labs. Gullens notes that this is a frequent occurrence — doctors not ordering labs for patients, then the patient ordering the lab online and taking it to her. She sees the power in patients taking their health into their own hands.

“We let people know how important it is to make sure they get their labs drawn at least annually,” Gullens said. “Because if you know that you have anything underlined, you can take care of it early on, like diabetes, high blood pressure, hormones — pretty much everything that you can really find out and you can get a handle on it. Do it once a year.”

Gullens has her eyes on expanding the already large depth of services offered at SRG Health Labs. She is trying to get the ball rolling on paramedical exams, an exam that records heigh, weight, blood pressure and pulse, along with injections and IV hydration.