U.S. blood centers (BCs) have struggled lately to meet the daily inventory demands of hospitals. Two-way communication between hospitals and blood centers is critical to ensure equitable distribution of blood center inventory and prevent under-transfusion in patients. BCs need to determine the best way to communicate inventory levels to the hospitals they serve and how to triage and distribute the products they have in inventory. Hospital transfusion services need to have a plan on how to respond when their blood center is unable to or has the potential to be unable to, supply enough inventory to meet demand. However, there is not a standardized way blood centers communicate critical inventory levels and/or product shortages to hospitals. In turn, there is also a need for standardized protocols and action steps for hospitals to respond to these communications from BCs. We will also plan to share results from a proposed survey of U.S. BCs (through ABC: community-based, independent BCs, and hospital-based BCs), and feedback from hospitals served by these BCs will be incorporated as well, assessing; the number of days the BC supply was short of daily demand for their hospitals, BCs inventory' communication plan' to hospitals; (daily, weekly, as needed/on-demand), and how the number of units available for distribution is communicated to the hospitals. The hospital survey will determine the number of days the hospital could not receive requested products, the number of days a hospital's supply< demand, and the number of times a patient was under-transfused. The survey will also determine action steps a hospital takes, proactively and reactively, in response to communications about inventory from hospitals. In sum, this educational session will explore the dynamics of BC communications, hospital ordering behaviors, and the need for hospital and supplier transparency and communication, much of which is underappreciated nationally.
Propose standardized ways for the blood suppliers to communicate low/critical/emergency inventory levels to hospitals and messaging for chronic versus acute shortages.
Discuss clinical impact of severe inventory shortages on hospitals and recognize the hemovigilance schema and under-transfusion Incident Codes as proposed by AABB Hemovigilance Working Group.
Appreciate the critical of roles of timely and protocolized two-way communication to ensure equitable distribution of a blood center inventory to the hospitals as well as optimization of the inventory utilization by hospital transfusion services.