Introducing Bedside Electronic Checks for Blood Transfusions
We provide over 65,000 units of blood annually to around 15,000 patients, making Barts Health NHS Trust the largest consumer of blood in the country. Blood transfusion is a life-saving treatment for these patients, while also presenting a significant cost and supply challenge for the NHS.
Our transfusion system has already been updated with electronic procedures and remote blood fridges. However, the final step towards enhancing patient safety and optimising service lies in the implementation of Bedside Electronic Transfusion checks for blood sample collection, labelling, and administration.
Currently, these processes are carried out manually, impacting both patient outcomes and the trust's operational efficiency.
What's the plan?
With the support of Barts Charity, we are pleased to announce the introduction of Electronic Bedside Transfusion Checks at our hospitals. It will be the largest use of this system in the world. The funding will help make the blood transfusion pathway digital. This will prompt staff to carry out key checks to ensure that patients receive the correct blood.
The system will first be implemented at St Bartholomew’s Hospital, and will then be rolled out to patients at Newham, Whipps Cross, and Royal London hospitals over the next two years.
Benefits of Bedside Electronic Transfusion System
Enhanced Patient Safety: The system will prompt healthcare staff to perform key steps in the correct order, ensuring that transfusions are administered to the right patients. By reducing the potential for errors, patient safety will significantly improve.
Reduced Blood Sample Rejection Rates: The new system is anticipated to lower the frequency of blood sample rejection, thereby minimising the need to re-bleed patients. This reduction in patient distress will lead to faster delivery of transfusions and other treatments that rely on blood transfusion, such as surgeries, ultimately resulting in better patient outcomes.
Improved Service Efficiency: The implementation of Bedside Electronic Transfusion checks will eliminate the need for a second nurse to perform checks prior to blood administration. This streamlining of processes will increase efficiency by freeing up staff time, allowing them to focus on other critical tasks.
Overall, these benefits will contribute to the delivery of a more cost-effective transfusion service for both patients and staff within our trust.