Automating the blood stock supply chain

Tuesday, 26 April, 2016 | Supplied by: InterSystems Corporation (Australia)

InterSystems has announced an agreement to interface TrakCare, its unified healthcare information system, to the Australian National Blood Authority’s (NBA) BloodNet ordering and inventory management system, thus automating the ordering and distribution of blood products to TrakCare Lab users.

The NBA manages and coordinates the supply of blood products and services on behalf of the Australian federal, state and territory governments. Through the web-based system BloodNet, approved healthcare providers can order blood and blood products from suppliers such as the Australian Red Cross Blood Service via a laboratory information system (LIS) interfaced to BloodNet. LIS interfaces enable real-time exchange of critical blood stock information, promoting efficiencies in Australia’s $1.1 billion blood products supply chain and improving emergency response capabilities.

InterSystems will implement the BloodNet interface with TrakCare Lab customers, including the Northern Territory Department of Health, St John of God Health Care, St Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney and Melbourne, Launceston General Hospital and others over time. Together, these health services consume around 8% of Australia’s blood products.

Interfaced healthcare services also receive information such as phenotype strings, allowing blood products to be electronically matched to patients without manually searching bag labels, according to NBA Chief Information Officer Peter O’Halloran. They can also access executive dashboards and business intelligence services to optimise their inventory levels.

InterSystems will include the BloodNet interface in its TrakCare Lab LIS product as well as its TrakCare Lab Enterprise laboratory business management system, released in April this year. Under the NBA contract, InterSystems will continue to update the interface to support ongoing BloodNet enhancements.

TrakCare and other LIS BloodNet interfaces over the next two years are expected to realise annual savings of $18.1 million through reduced wastage and expenditure on blood and immunoglobulin products. They also benefit hospital or pathology services — significantly reducing time spent double-keying information and virtually eliminating data transcription errors — with annual savings of $1.85 million in staff time expected.

“With input from the TrakCare interface, we will be rolling out digital dashboards that will provide real-time information about orders and stock levels,” said O’Halloran. “They will also highlight short expiry units — for example, a bag with only five hours of shelf life — so they can be used in time. When a blood donor shares that gift of life, we want to ensure it gets used by a patient rather than getting lost in administrative oversights or inefficiencies.”

“InterSystems is proud to be working alongside an innovative organisation like the National Blood Authority,” said Simon Gatward, InterSystems Country Manager for Australia and New Zealand. “The BloodNet interface will promote efficiencies within the healthcare system and improved patient outcomes.”

Image credit: ©angellodeco/Dollar Photo Club

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