Health IT Fosters Blood Transfusion Safety - InformationWeek
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Health IT Fosters Blood Transfusion Safety

Mediware's Bloodsafe Tx mobile device integrates with e-medical record systems and ensures that patients receive correct blood transfusions.

All Children's Hospital has expanded its use of Mediware Information Systems' technology by adopting the BloodSafe Tx, a handheld device used by hospital staff to verify patient identification and validate blood and transfusion specifications at the patient's bedside.

The device is fully integrated with Mediware's HCLL Transfusion blood bank software that enables hospitals to share patients' transfusion and blood use data with core hospital systems, including electronic medical records.

The St. Petersburg, Fla. hospital, like many hospitals across the country, is looking for handheld medical devices that seamlessly integrate with existing technology while improving efficiency and safety practices among nurses, doctors, and other staff members.

All Children's use of handheld devices at the bedside began in 2009 when the hospital licensed from Mediware the LacTrack system that tracks milk for infants. The technology monitors milk storage, movement, preparation, and administration. Mediware has a reseller agreement with Neoteric Technology, the maker of the LacTrack suite of products. All Children's is also in the process of implementing Cerner's medication administration software.

"A core focus for our staff has always been accurate patient identification, ensuring we match the right activity to the right patient. Using tools such as BloodSafe Tx will make us more efficient, speed up our identification, and ensure we get the right blood to the right patient. It will also enable us to efficiently capture information at the bedside that can be shared with other information systems or the EMR," Pat Hughes, All Children's acting chief nursing officer, said in a statement this week.

Cal Popovich, All Children's chief information officer, said the hospital is always looking for tools that allow them to apply technology to processes. He said the BloodSafe products help the hospital improve the efficiency of care, reduce risk, and support better outcomes for their patients.

"Our goal is to automate in areas that make sense, and in a way that is economically feasible for the hospital. A key advantage for us is that all Mediware's handheld applications run on the same device as the other mobile nursing applications we plan to roll out. This will save us a lot of money and reduce the number of tools each nurse needs to manage," Popovich said in a statement.

Forrester Research analyst Liz Boehm said many hospitals are looking at similar kinds of mobile technology to deliver care.

"The more information technologies can be adapted to the existing workflow of clinicians -- a workflow that is inherently mobile -- the more likely they are to be adopted and therefore to positively affect the quality of care," Boehm said.

BloodSafe Tx is an extension of Mediware's BloodSafe system, which All Children's implemented in 2009. The BloodSafe system includes a remote storage system of blood refrigerators that securely store blood in high use areas of the hospital such as operating rooms and emergency departments. BloodSafe refrigerators utilize an intelligent interface with Mediware's HCLL Transfusion software to electronically match and dispense the right blood for patients.

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