By Mary Bassalin, BS, RN, CCRN
Over the past year, the Patient Blood Management Program has been raising awareness about the importance of appropriate blood transfusions, and providers have responded, helping to significantly decrease the number of transfusions.
We continue to bring in tools to help physicians guide their transfusion decisions and provide optimal patient care. Once such tool is IMPACT® Online. This reporting tool will allow us to provide physician dashboards showing trends in transfusion practices in the hospital, within service lines, and for individual surgeons and physicians. It will also allow us to compare our transfusion practices with those of other institutions. Most significant, is IMPACT® Online’s ability to drive a change in practice by linking transfusions to patient outcomes like length of stay, infections, and mortality.
In FY13, red blood cell transfusions decreased by 22 percent. The Department of Orthopedics reduced their transfusion rate in hip and knee replacement patients from 17 percent in FY12 to 9.1 percent in FY13.
We continue to raise awareness on the importance of optimizing patients pre-operatively for elective surgical procedures, and are working to offer current evidence to providers who transfuse outside of the hospital’s transfusion guidelines. We are also expanding education efforts within the Nursing Department, as we remain committed to improving care for our patients.