Research shows that up to 40% of blood transfusions could be avoided with best practices implemented in a patient blood management program.1 When we look at the reality of what this means across the United States it means that of the estimated five million people that receive blood products almost two million of those people could reduce their risks by avoiding transfusion.
The data is clear on patient blood management programs: they save lives, they save dollars and they improve patient care. The speed in which programs have been established and clinical adoption has soared can be credited to the well-founded research that’s come out over the last 5 years and the transparency of data within the hospital systems.
In our work in patient blood management, we can identify four critical areas of success:
- A committed sponsor. Like all efforts within a hospital and system it takes effort to get it off the ground. We’ve found strong sponsors in the hematology department and nurses in critical care environments that are most acutely aware of the patient impact from transfusion.
- Benchmarks and best practices. Critical to bringing clinicians onboard, new processes and clinical procedure must be backed by respected benchmarks and tested best practices. The trust and esteem placed in both the benchmark and the best practice will be mirrored in execution of the processes.
- Transparency in data. It is essential to have complete transparency of where the hospital and system are performing in relation to the benchmark as a whole. This provides a whole team collaborative objective.
- Visibility into individual performance. While transparency of the data as a whole is key, the visibility into individual performance is where change truly occurs. When individuals see the data in their own patients and can constructively compare it to national averages, they’re able to self-identify the areas where they are in need of optimization and this generates unparalleled motivation to improve.
What this means for you as you self-identify on this scale:
- Bringing focus to individual physician data transparency.
- Implementing Anemia Management protocols.
- Minimizing blood product waste to an ever-smaller margin.
- Create refresh sessions for clinical staff to keep current on the latest research and findings.
- Establish on-boarding protocol for new clinical staff to ensure programmatic understanding.
- Updating hospital benchmarks and looking for further improvement.
- Establish patient blood management cross disciplinary committee.
- Bring clarity and awareness of current data in patient blood management.
- Set objectives for 2020 and 2021 based on national best practice benchmarks.
- Create educational campaigns to bring attention to your patient blood management best practices.
Late Majority and Laggards
- Identify your patient blood management champion and reach out for the best next step to bring patient blood management practices to your organization for same year impact.
No matter where you find your organization on the adoption scale there’s always opportunities for improvement.