August 25, 2006

ORs testing new system for blood ordering

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Richard Breyer, Ph.D.

In three of Vanderbilt's six operating room suites, a new system for blood ordering and delivery is reducing opportunities for medical error.

“We looked at the whole process with the aim of eliminating hand-offs where errors may occur,” said Paul St. Jacques, M.D., associate professor of Anesthesiology.

The customary way to get blood to the OR is to call the Blood Bank with the order, then ask an OR tech to pick it up.

With the new system, blood orders are entered in WizOrder, the hospital's order entry system, from computers located in operating rooms. Orders print out in the Blood Bank and the blood is transported by pneumatic tube back to the OR.

St. Jacques said a team is evaluating utilization, delivery times and patient safety associated with the new system.