For many, the role of the blood center physician involves overseeing the medical aspects of collecting and producing a safe and effective blood supply as well as their role in providing clinical consultation to staff, other physicians, and customer hospitals. Blood center physicians, however, can and should provide significant input into virtually all functions and operations of the blood center. The American Red Cross has recently started a program where medical directors have become physician partners working with a number of functional and operational teams throughout the organization with the goal of providing real-time medical input at the time of decision making. Other blood centers have leveraged the expertise of their physicians in other ways. Blood center physicians can play important roles as members of the blood center’s executive management team and contribute significantly in areas such as the prioritization of projects and resources, new business acquisition, surveying the health care climate in their communities, and representing health care in the local business community. Physicians can also provide guidance on compliance and regulatory issues, contribute to review and revision of existing operations, and in developing new operating policies and procedures. The physicians' medical training and connections within the health care community allow them to provide important contributions in safety, insurance matters, procedure and product reimbursement, and disaster preparedness. Finally, blood center physicians can also play a key role in public relations as a trusted, scientific source of information regarding the need for blood donation and explaining new opportunities or changes in blood center operations. This session will demonstrate how blood centers have been able to leverage their physicians’ abilities outside the typical medical role to the overall improvement of the organization.
Identify key operational areas at your blood center, outside of donor and patient care, where your physician(s) can provide valuable insight and contribute to the organization’s success.
List two ways in which physicians can provide benefit when partnering with a blood center’s management or operational teams.
Name at least one way in which a blood center physician can play an active role in the blood center’s business operations.