Choosing Wisely Canada and Canadian Blood Services have recognized QHC as a designated “Using Blood Wisely Hospital”.
Hospitals that have achieved this designation have met benchmarks in red blood cell stewardship and have demonstrated their commitment to reducing unnecessary red blood cell transfusions at their hospital. This achievement is the result of a 3-year improvement project lead by our department of laboratory medicine, most notably department Chief/Medical Director, Dr. Cathy Goetz, the lead of our QHC blood bank team, Pam Young and outgoing Charge, Hertha Hughes, who began this initiative and was the lead until March 2021.
This success required participation from physicians across the organization. Standardizing practice in transfusion medicine at QHC according to the most recent, best evidence was achieved through multiple steps including updating guidelines, educating staff and physicians, implementing new order sets, auditing all orders and following up with physicians if orders did not meet guidelines, and optimizing opportunities for alternative management.
The benchmark target recommended by Choosing Wisely Canada is for at least 80% of red blood cell transfusions have a pre-transfusion hemoglobin level of 80g/L or less. After completion of the audits by staff, it was determined that QHC has been at 97% over the past year. QHC also significantly exceeds targets for the percentage of single versus multiple unit transfusions which is a wonderful kudos to all the physicians!
A huge thanks to Pam, Dr. Goetz, Hertha Hughes, the MLTs in Core Lab for their diligence in screening transfusion orders, the physicians and everyone involved in this improvement success!