"We've seen a $1 million decrease over the past two years in our total spend for blood products through a collaborative program with BloodSource," says Patti Monczewski, Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Mercy General Hospital, Sacramento.
The primary goal of the program was not to save money, it was to improve patient outcomes and safety through appropriate, evidence-based use of blood products, Monczewski said. The savings came from reducing the inappropriate use – and wastage – of blood products.
"We need to enforce the message that 'more is not better' when it comes to blood transfusion. We've saved money, but it's the result of a program that enables us to do the right thing for our patients," Monczewski said.
Mercy General performs more open-heart surgeries –nearly 1,300 last year – than any hospital in Northern California. The BloodSmart team has worked with the hospital to ensure that transfusion decisions are evidence-based. Is blood being transfused when it's not needed? Are some surgeons ordering more blood than is needed? Are the right blood products being used for the right reasons … and at the right times?
The hospital also has worked with the BloodSmart team to help physicians evaluate whether the first unit of blood transfused was effective before prescribing a second; and to put in place a "just-in-time" system to thaw Fresh Frozen Plasma quickly and get it up to the OR when it's needed, instead of prematurely thawing a unit that ultimately might not be used.
Monczewski says the hospital will implement similar programs for other surgical specialties in the future.
Chief Operating Officer (COO)
Mercy General Hospital, Sacramento