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Healthcare Professionals / Progress Notes / Quality/Risk Management / Preoperative anemia screening in elective surgical patients improves outcomes

Preoperative anemia screening in elective surgical patients improves outcomes

Mary Bassalin

By Mary Bassalin, BS, RN, CCRN, Transfusion Safety Specialist

Preoperative anemia has been shown to be an independent predictor of morbidity and mortality. In addition, treating anemia with blood transfusions contributes both independently and collaboratively to poor outcomes.


In 2011 The Joint Commission published Patient Blood Management Performance Measures, identifying preoperative anemia screening as one of seven measures to address. Others include: transfusion consent, RBC transfusion indication, plasma transfusion indication, platelet transfusion indication, blood administration documentation, and preoperative blood type testing and antibody screening.
Quality Blue, a performance improvement initiative of Highmark, also recommends developing a multidisciplinary approach and protocols to screen patients for anemia 14 to 45 days prior to elective surgery.
Lancaster General Hospital’s Patient Blood Management Program is in the process of implementing this and other measures in order to provide optimal care for all patients. Developing an anemia management practice has the potential to significantly improve patient outcomes, decrease length of stay, and reduce the rate of complications and readmissions.
We ask you to seek opportunities for preoperative anemia screening and management in your patients prior to elective surgeries as we incorporate this best practice at LGH.


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