Blood product wastage reduction by utilising low-cost, low-impact multimodal physician-to-physician communication initiatives

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Transfusion Medicine








blood product wastage; communication; transfusion


Objectives: To assess a multimodal physician-to-physician communication initiative that is low in cost and impact to daily workflow to reduce blood product wastage. Background: Blood product stewardship is an important issue in all hospital systems. Previous studies have proposed low-cost interventions to reduce blood product wastage, but few have evaluated improvements in communication between the blood bank and providers. We undertook a prospective quality improvement project focusing on improving communication to reduce blood product wastage. Methods: We conducted a prospective quality improvement project over the first quarter of 2017, identifying patients with issued but unused blood products. Each service overseeing the care of patients identified on the unit status report was contacted through two possible methods: (i) phone or (ii) proprietary Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 compliant digital messaging application. Collected variables included reserved blood product type and participant time spent. Outcomes included the rate of blood product release and changes in wastage compared with historical data tracked by the blood bank. Results: Eight hundred and forty products were reserved during the study period, of which 436 (52%) were released. Average participant times ranged from 2 ± 1 min to 15 ± 4 min with no significant differences in time spent between participants (P = 0·194). Compared with the average product wastage 10 months prior to project initiation, there were significant reductions in the average wastage for platelets (5·3 ± 2·5 units vs 2·5 ± 1·5 units, P = 0·05), RBCs (6·1 ± 3·7 units vs 0 ± 0 units, P = 0·01) and overall wastage (58·3 ± 14·9 units vs 40 ± 15·7 units, P = 0·05). Conclusion: Efforts focusing on improving provider-to-provider communication can reduce blood product wastage.