Blood and blood products are a very critical resource for any hospital and one that has to be managed very carefully to ensure that it is immediately available when required for patient care. As such, many hospitals maintain a central Blood Bank that manages the distribution of blood to various areas of the hospital as needed.
Part of this process often includes strategically placing units of blood through appropriate areas to provide rapid and convenient access. The risk here however is that the shelf life of blood products is very short if not stored within proper temperature ranges. If this process is not managed carefully then at best, someones donation of blood is wasted, and at worst, a patient may not have access to the life saving blood that they may need.
Because blood stored in coolers has a very limited life, keeping every available unit of it suitable for medical use is a crucial function of any bank blood.
A real-time tracking system can significantly aid in the successful conservation of blood and blood products during their transport and storage throughout the hospital. By knowing where the products are, how long they’ve been out, and alerting when nearing pre-designated thresholds, blood is no longer lost due to inattentive processes and patients are assured to have access to blood when needed.
At Infinite Leap, we have helped healthcare organizations deploy easy-to-use Real Time Location Systems (RTLS), which allow for tracking the location and elapsed “time-to-expire” of portable coolers. These solutions can stand-alone and be deployed in a matter of a couple of days utilizing existing hospital Wi-Fi infrastructure, or can be part of a broader RTLS-based deployment. Either way, the value real-time location systems can bring to the management of blood is tremendous and important.
These systems allow staff visibility into the current location of the blood coolers and to receive automatically generated reminders to retrieve coolers containing unused blood before their specified time “out” expires. This process greatly reduces the possibility that unused blood would need to be disposed, which means significant monetary savings, but what is even more important it allows you to be a good steward of your blood donors’ priceless gift.
If you would like to learn how the blood coolers tracking solution works, please let me know so I can arrange for a quick exploratory conversation.