Blood Utilization and Blood Management

The Blood Utilization accelerator is an interactive application that provides both overview and details of blood utilization and blood management in your healthcare system. Users can gain insight into the factors driving blood use by applying filters related to provider specialty type, transfusion type, and hemoglobin level. The application also surfaces the indication and clinical logic for ordering blood, allowing users to examine appropriateness of utilization on a per-patient and population basis. Users can also identify variation in practice among providers within a specialty and thereby identify opportunities to standardize utilization for best clinical and financial results.

Organizations typically focus on blood utilization for these reasons:

  • Blood products are costly and often in short supply. Hospital CFOs routinely list blood products as one of their top five cost concerns and seek to manage this resource carefully.
  • Transfusion increases patient risk. Blood is sometimes referred to as “the most dangerous drug in the hospital”; its transfusion carries the risk of adverse events such as errors, transfusion reactions, and infection transmission.
  • Practice often varies greatly—even within a single system or practice. Transfusion has been named one of the top five overused procedures in the hospital. Adherence to evidence-based guidelines for transfusion can decrease inappropriate use of blood products and improve clinical and financial outcomes.

Blood Utilization Benefits and Features

Access an actionable, near real-time view of blood utilization.

The application dashboard visualizes utilization metrics in an easy-to-consume summary. You can see trends and associations as they develop—and take timely action to address issues.

Understand—and manage—variation in practice.

The application can show which providers have ordered blood for which patients, for how much, and for what reason. This insight creates a valuable feedback mechanism for continuous improvement.

Compare and contrast.

A Compare tab lets you review patient and care variables—demographics, variation in care, performance in different units, etc.—to determine what’s working and not working to ensure appropriate utilization. This feature also allows you to gauge the ROI of improvement work in particular areas: what could you achieve if every unit and provider standardized to match your best performance?

Gain visibility across the continuum of care.

The app can be integrated with other applications—e.g., surgical intervention applications—across multiple service types to track care over time and maintain a view of the whole patient.

Start improvement work faster with prebuilt metrics based on best practice and accepted definitions.

The application measures units per 100 discharges, for example, so that you can gauge your performance relative to peer organizations; it also tracks adherence to standard transfusion care procedures by leveraging nursing documentation of activities such as vitals checks.

Blood Utilization Use Case

The CMO is concerned about rising blood usage in the system—and a recent uptick in transfusion-related adverse events. She uses the Blood Utilization accelerator to review blood utilization metrics in a dashboard to identify the specialty with the highest use (cardiovascular surgery) and the providers whose practices optimize blood management, combining lower utilization with excellent clinical outcomes. She sponsors a prehabilitation initiative to prepare the patient prior to surgery, which includes standardizing orders, delivering education, and engaging surgeons around best-practice care—and uses the application to gauge the impact on cost, waste, and safety. As targets are reached in the cardiac surgery specialty, the application helps identify and prioritize additional blood management opportunities in other surgical areas.