Safe transition to surgery: working differently to make blood transfusion process safer for elective surgery
Our institutional policy allows patients who are scheduled for elective surgery with no history of a pregnancy or blood transfusion in the preceding 3 months to have a presurgical sample (PSS) collected and tested up to 56 days before their scheduled surgery; however, our PSS TS completion rate in eligible patients before the morning of surgery was 83%. In 2011, a team was charged to develop a standardized process along with other process improvements while ensuring no increase in transfusion-related events.
STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS
The team followed the DMAIC framework in appraising the effectiveness and efficiency of the current state process including baseline data collection such as PSS TS completion rate, number of eligible patients needing a PSS TS on the day of surgery, benchmarking, SSBO utilization, and future state mapping.
First quarter (Q1) 2011 versus Q1 2012 postimplementation results showed significant improvements of the process including a 53% decrease in PSS TS on the day of surgery; a 13% increase in PSS TS completion before the morning of surgery; a 26% reduction in total XM RBCs; and a 58.8% reduction in XM RBCs not issued, plus a 47% decrease in RBC wastage. Q1 2011 versus Q1 2013 showed a 41% reduction in total XM RBCs and an 88.4% reduction in XM RBCs not issued but overall RBCs issued versus returned increased slightly and represents a future opportunity for improvement.
The redesigned, transformational process eliminated SSBO and improved ordering process and PSS TS completion rate as well as blood product ordering and utilization.