There are twenty-one million blood components transfused every year in the United States. Autotransfusion is a rapid solution when a patient needs blood quickly, and it reduces the risk of infection and serious disease. It’s also a cheaper and safer option than standard donor blood transfusions.
Autotransfusion uses a cell saver machine to clean and filter a patient’s blood, which can return to them in a transfusion within 3-5 minutes. Patient blood management programs (PBMs) are an effective alternative to the adverse outcomes of standard donor blood transfusions.
Patient Blood Management Program
Donor blood transfusions are costly, have questionable efficacy, and can cause various complications, including acute immune hemolytic reaction, allergic reactions, hives, bloodbourne infections, delayed hemolytic reaction, fever, graft-versus-host disease, iron overload, and lung injury.
PBMs can improve patient outcomes by detecting and managing preoperative anemia, using the patient’s blood during surgical interventions, minimizing blood loss during procedures, and optimizing coagulation. Many hospitals and clinicians are shifting to PBM programs because they lower costs and reduce complications associated with donor blood transfusions.
Benefits of a PBM Program
The Joint Commission now certifies hospital-based PBM programs by reviewing their PBM practices, offering suggestions for quality improvement, and helping their program achieve maximum benefits. PBM programs lower costs and reduce the risk of infection and serious diseases. They ensure blood availability for those most in need and provide optimized care for patients who might need a transfusion. Additionally, they offer a competitive edge in the marketplace. As a result, PBM programs reduce the length of hospital stays and improve overall patient outcomes.
Implementing a PBM Program
PBM programs can be complex and time-consuming, but it’s an excellent first step to establish the right person to spearhead the program and find others who support the leaders and their initiative. A PBM program will be most successful by gathering people from various departments. Not only will they be invaluable during the process, but they’ll be critical in gaining support from staff members who might be reluctant.
Creating a business proposal will inform hospital administrators of how much you expect them to invest in a PBM program and their return on investment. A business plan will outline investment expectations, program costs, personnel needed to implement and operate the program, and expected timelines.
Once you’ve developed a business plan, you should leverage existing evidence-based research to establish guidelines, policies, and procedures. This information will ensure consistent processes and be valuable for new staff members joining the program. Appointing an oversight committee and director role will ensure that everyone upholds these guidelines, policies, and procedures, driving short and long-term success.
Defining and tracking goals will be critical to evaluating your PBM program’s success. Tracking, analyzing, and reporting on program goals ensures you receive ongoing support from hospital administrators and identify goals that aren’t being met. With this information, you can revise your program as needed.
PBM and Autotransfusion Services
Incorporating autotransfusion services creates a comprehensive PBM program that allows patients’ blood to be recycled during a procedure. When seeking a partner in autotransfusion services, you should consider the quality of their ATS clinical specialists, their commitment to research and training, their ability to track performance, and their use of custom analyses to drive improvement.
Quality of ATS Clinical Specialists
Reviewing ATS clinical specialists’ education and experience ensures they integrate well with surgeons and OR staff. Autotransfusionists will typically undergo initial and annual clinical competency testing and receive ongoing education to stay up-to-date with industry changes and meet necessary standards and recommendations.
Commitment to Research and Training
Autotransfusionists committed to research and training showcase their knowledge on the latest techniques and best practices. As a result, they can provide patients with safe, high-quality care that promotes successful outcomes.
Ability to Track Performance
Tracking performance helps customers identify trends and implement quality measures that improve the program. A good autotransfusion service partner will determine benchmarks from specific data that compares other hospitals’ results against your own.
Use of Custom Analyses to Drive Improvement
In addition to tracking data, autotransfusion service partners need to interpret the data to provide a comprehensive report that offers a complete view of the customer’s program. These reports should also be easily accessible to customers to help hospital administrators and surgeons target and improve specific program elements of care and internal processes.
Autotransfusion Services at SpecialtyCare
SpecialtyCare is a leading provider of autotransfusion services. Our autotransfusion services team partners with customers by seamlessly integrating with their facility and staff to provide consistent, reliable, and high-quality care, which helps improve patient outcomes and reduce costs.
At SpecialtyCare, we strive to understand our customers’ businesses so we can anticipate their needs and make recommendations to continually improve their PBM program. With annual clinical competency testing and ongoing education through SpecialtyCare University, which includes a fully equipped OR for training, we develop expertise beyond required certifications and provide superior quality care so that surgical teams can be certain they always have the best partner for clinical excellence.