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Tuesday, 11 March 2014

All ICS hospitals now handle blood requests electronically

A professional Blood and Tissue Bank prepares a blood transfusion

With the recent incorporation of the Viladecans Hospital, all eight hospitals of the Catalan Health Institute (ICS) now manage blood prescription and dispensation by electronic means. This innovative programme allows professionals at any centre to order the units of blood they need and track the process via an ICT-enabled network. The system uses the SAP Healthcare clinical information management program and is available to all hospital areas: outpatient wards, emergency rooms, ambulatory care, hospitalisation wards and operating theatres.

The launch of this initiative was made possible thanks to the integration of the Banc de Sang i Teixits programme with the SAP Healthcare and Gacela software (for nursing staff) used by all ICS hospitals. Managing blood bags electronically allows us to optimise their use, improve security at every step in the process (from the moment the professional makes a request until the patient receives the transfusion), track the status of each order at all times and obtain detailed stock and inventory reports on this vital product which hospitals require on a daily basis.

The first hospitals to implement the system were Bellvitge and Germans Trias, in the final quarter of 2012. In 2013 the following hospitals came on board: Arnau de Vilanova in Lleida, Trueta in Girona, Joan XXIII in Tarragona, Verge de la Cinta in Tortosa and Vall d'Hebron. These seven hospitals placed a total of 59,415 orders in 2013, and 129,723 bags of blood were processed and delivered. Vildecans Hospital joined this innovative blood management initiative last week, bringing the total number of ICS hospitals now online with the system up to eight.

This system is part of the Argos project, which aims to implement eHealth management tools (SAP Healthcare, Gacela and the electronic drug prescribing and dispensing platform Silicon). The goals of the Argos project are to share methods, tools and resources, promote cooperation between health care treatment centres and suppliers (the ICS information systems are also used by other public health agencies), provide a more holistic view of each patient's case, and ensure alignment with the Department of Health's guidelines for health care, management and technology.

Argos links the information stored at hospitals that have implemented this system to the data held at the Primary Care Clinical Station (ECAP), Catalonia's shared medical history systems (HC3), the e-prescription system and the central insurance register.

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