Electronic Blood Tracking

Maintaining the highest standards of patient safety is a constant issue for all healthcare providers, none more so than the issues relating to any situations that call upon the need for a blood transfusion and the clinical management of blood products.

A key factor for patient Safety within blood transfusion is the integrity of the bloodstock supply, from entering bloodstock refrigerators to Patient bedsides, with the duty of care lies with the healthcare provider.

The biggest contributor to errors in blood transfusions have been linked to human factors withdrawing the wrong blood from the refrigerators and not maintaining up to date patient observations records, and this is why Blood360 has been developed. Blood360 – developed in consultation with healthcare professionals for healthcare professionals. The Blood360 system deals with the fundamental requirements of electronic blood tracking, guaranteeing the integrity and security of clinical blood products entering a healthcare provider’s premise.

Blood360 is an electronic blood tracking system that uses kiosks to control access to blood fridges. The user logs in using fingerprint access then scans the patient’s blood collection slip, the kiosk then unlocks the fridge and then scans the blood bag to confirm it’s the correct one for the patient.

At the bedside, Blood360 runs on a handheld device to maintain the integrity of the blood products and the safety of the patient. Using the solution the user scans the patient’s wristband to confirm their identity and then the unit of blood. Blood360 will then cross-check that the identifiers match. This gives the user confidence and stops serious harm or death to a patient in your care.

Reduce transfusion errors when issuing red cells

The biggest contributor to errors in blood transfusions has been linked to human error, like withdrawing the wrong blood from the fridge. Blood360 gives hospitals secured access to red cells via the use of touch-screen T1 Kiosks. The T1 controls access to a blood fridge requiring the user to confirm their identity and the issuing of crossed matched units by scanning patients collection slips then the crossed matched blood for that patient. If the wrong unit is scanned then the user is alerted and prevented from continuing. This is the first step to help prevent errors like WBIT (wrong blood in tube) from happening.

The Blood360 kiosk interface has been developed with intuitive usability in mind and as such, the system process is easy to follow with visual prompting at every stage.

Using electronic blood issue will improve compliance with blood traceability legislation and electronic record keeping. The system also allows Hospitals to demonstrate to regulatory bodies including MHRA & CQC those blood products have:

  • Maintained cold chain
  • Been transported on time
  • Checked then administered by suitably trained staff
  • All staff follow the correct procedure
  • Products are safe to administer/Transfuse

Reduce transfusion errors at the bedside

Misidentification of a patient, transfusion of wrong blood and not maintaining up to date patient observations are the biggest contributor to human errors in blood transfusions.

Blood360 utilises a mobile handheld device to scan the patient’s wristband to confirm their identity and then the unit of blood; Blood360 will then check that the two identifiers match. This gives the user confidence and stops serious harm or death to a patient in your care. That’s true positive patient ID at the bedside.

With Blood360 you can also take and record all the observations on the Blood360 handheld, these fully configurable questions included the mandatory taking of 15 minute and/ or 1-hour observations. NEWS is automatically calculated and appropriate steps advised for a deteriorating patient.

Why do you need Blood360?

  • No more wrong blood in tube events
  • No more misidentification of patients
  • Request blood at the patient’s bedside
  • Compliant with GS1 and scan for safety
  • Saves time at the bedside
  • Never miss an observation

“The introduction the system has enabled us to ensure all the Blood products collected from our Transfusion Department are fully traceable…We have seen the full impact of the system in our Haematology departments where we are able to track the Blood knowing exactly where the unit is and who is performing what task…”

Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust

Control access and issue of batch products

The traceability of batch products like Albumin and Anti-D within a hospital environment is very difficult. Batch products arrive into the lab, the product is booked into the LIMS and given a unique ID, this ID however only marries up to the batch lot number which is human readable only, not barcoded (in the majority of cases). Not having the ability to trace products due to the lack of scannable barcodes means hospitals still currently use paper-based processes that are very time-consuming and can result in increased errors compared to electronic blood product traceability.

The batch product module has the facility to not only trace the product but the ability to uniquely label the individual batch products in the lab, via our Blood360 solution. A Blood360 mobile printer is used to print the 2D barcodes in the lab starting the traceability cycle at the source. In the same way, a blood unit is managed, the system uses the T1 kiosks to control access to a storage unit.

Bedside management of batch products

Blood360 mobile devices can be used to manage/record the administration of the batch products, in the same way, a blood unit is managed at the patient’s bedside. Utilising mobile handheld device to scan the patient’s wristband to confirm their identity and then the batch product; Blood360 will then check that the two identifiers match and update the electronic audit trail.

The appointed practitioner in charge of midwifery at the location where Anti-D is administered is usually the one responsible for ensuring the Anti-D is recorded and stored appropriately. Most hospitals put batch products under the remit of the Lab rather than pharmacy as they are a blood component. It is essential that all blood products including Albumin and Anti-D can be traced to the patient receiving them. Failure to do so can have severe medical and legal consequences in the event of adverse reactions.

Why do you need the batch products module?

  • Demonstrate traceability to regulatory bodies
  • Manage batch products like blood units
  • Request batch products at the patient’s bedside
  • Compliant with GS1 and scan for safety
  • Put batch products where you need them
  • Saves time issuing
  • Saves time at the bedside

Remote issue of blood products at satellite locations

With laboratory’s and blood banks moving towards hub and spoke models it is becoming harder to issue blood from a controlled environment. Blood360 Remote Issue allows for a true “Hub and Spoke” approach to bloodstock management. It allows pathology laboratories to have a trust-wide view of bloodstock levels, as well as giving the same secure controlled access to blood fridges from remote locations.

Working in conjunction with a remote issue fridge Blood360 remote issue can also give a greater granular control over fridge access and user guidance by only unlocking the correct compartment for the correct blood in multi-compartment fridges. Remote issue saves money by reducing blood waste, reducing transport costs. This cost saving aspect of Blood360 remote issue means return on the initial investment is achieved over a shorter period of time.

Remote issue – what exactly is it?

In its simplest form it allows the pathology lab to store un-reserved blood units, aka stock blood units, in a fridge closer to where it is needed, and then issue them remotely via a Blood360 kiosk and printer that prints a compatibility slip. These stock units can be stored in a normal fridge or better still it can be stored in one of the new multi-draw or vending units available on the market today.

What are the benefits of remote issue:

  1. Help reduce blood waist
  2. Reduction in trips to remote locations
  3. Pathology labs can expand out their services reach
  4. Improved efficiency & improved demand management.
  5. Easier to manage demand and respond to special areas like ER

Request blood at the patient’s bedside

How is blood usually requested? A verbal request is made by ward/unit staff for blood to be collected from transfusion this could be done by making a phone call or sending a fax request or in some cases going to the hospital blood bank. Ward staff may have to request several times if the blood units are ready for collection. This can be very time consuming and interfere with patients getting treatment fast.  Each unit can take between 30 minutes and four hours to transfuse, depending on how much blood is needed, the whole procedure can take a significant length of time. This is why electronic requesting is the preferred option.

With Blood360 you can request blood at the patient’s bedside where it is needed. It’s as simple as opening the app, if there is a green tick next to the blood unit then its ready for collection. Click on the unit you want and select request unit. The porter or blood bank are informed and the blood unit delivered to the ward. Other features include the option to be notified when the unit is available, a message is pinged to your handheld device that informs you the instant the unit is placed in an issue fridge.

Quarantine red cells up to 60 minutes out of controlled temperature

There are many reasons why you may need to quarantine red cells, the unit could have expired or has been out of the fridge for longer than 30 minutes, the cold chain has been broken our a patient could have had an adverse reaction and it needs investigating.

When this happens, the unit should not be returned to the issue location in the refrigerator, it is returned to the transfusion laboratory or disposed of. Transporting units back to the Lab or disposing of them can be a waste of valuable resources (time & blood), this is why our users have asked for a quarantine module in Blood360.

How it works:

The unit has exceeded 30 minutes but it has not passed 60 minutes, expired or been transfused. It is scanned by the Kiosk and instructions are given to place the unit into a secure section of the refrigerator (for at least 6 hours to allow the unit to return to 2-6°C), the Lab can then reissue the unit.

The unit has expired, been out of the fridge for longer than 60 minutes, or the patient has had an adverse reaction. These units can now be placed in a secure container controlled by a Blood360 kiosk, located where you need it.

Guidelines for the Blood Transfusion Services, JPAC – Joint United Kingdom (UK) Blood Transfusion and Tissue Transplantation Services Professional Advisory Committee

Removal from and return to 2-6°C controlled storage within hospitals.

For occasions when red cells are removed from 2-6°C controlled storage (eg when issued to a clinical area immediately prior to transfusion) and returned then:

If possible, time out of a controlled temperature environment should be restricted to under 30 minutes If 30 minutes is exceeded the unit should not be returned to the issue location in the refrigerator, but returned to the transfusion laboratory or quarantined remotely using electronic blood tracking.

Up to 60 minutes out of controlled temperature is acceptable, provided the unit is then quarantined by placing in a secure refrigerator for at least 6 hours prior to reissue, to allow the unit to return to 2-6°C Hospitals will need to identify such units so that they are not subject to being out of controlled temperature storage for between 30 and 60 minutes on more than three occasions.

Transfusion should be completed within 4 hours of issue out of a controlled temperature environment.

Issue and return Blood using a handheld device

With Blood360 virtual kiosk, we extend some of the kiosk functionality to the Blood360 handheld device. In the same way Lab staff Porters or other Medical professionals Issue and return blood units on a kiosk they can now use a handheld device as well.

Utilising the Blood360 mobile handheld device to first scan the 2D barcode on the fridge then scan the patient’s collection slip, followed by the blood unit that has been crossed matched the entire process is carried out on the handheld device.  Blood360 virtual kiosk, continues to give hospitals secured access to red cells, the user still has to confirm their identity, If the wrong unit is scanned then the user is alerted and prevented from continuing.

Electronically request blood to be collected by Porters

The Porter App is an additional module to Bloodhounds/ Blood360 Bedside that brings you a step closer to a truly paperless system. This completely electronic process utilising onscreen scannable barcodes on Apple iOS devises like iPods.

  • Reduces blood requesting waiting times
  • Better transparency locating blood units
  • No more calls to the lab to requesting blood
  • No more printing of ward collection slips and
  • Less risk of patient data lying around