The Ontario Regional Blood Coordinating Network (ORBCoN) was launched in 2006 and the program is funded by the Ontario Ministry of Health (MOH) to provide an organized and integrated approach to blood management in Ontario through the engagement of hospitals and Canadian Blood Services. ORBCoN supports the implementation of the provincial Blood Utilization Strategy using the following five strategic goals: 1. Utilization of blood components and products; 2. Educational Resources; 3. Inventory Management; 4. Communication; and, 5. Quality and Safety.
ORBCoN’s Strategic Goals with Highlighted Projects
- IVIG Utilization
- Centralized Utilization Database
- Data Strategy
- Provincial Audits
- Evaluation of Educational Resources
- Maintenance of Existing Resources
- Implementation of New Resources
- Educational Events Hosted by ORBCoN
- Educational Events - National or International
- Contingency Planning
- Benchmark Levels for Outdate Rates
- Redistribution Program
- Collaborative Hospital Site Visits
- Distribution of Resources
- Transfusion Ontario Website
- Provincial Quality Strategy
- Accreditation Requirements for Transfusion Medicine
- Improve Patient Safety
- Physician/Nursing Education Strategy
The network has developed resources with local, national, and international impact. ORBCoN has fostered strong relationships through building collaborative networks. ORBCoN strives to have regional representation across Ontario but often engages in national initiatives. Promotion and coordination of educational initiatives have facilitated the adoption of best practices for safe blood transfusion across Ontario.
ORBCoN has helped hospitals with strategies that identified utilization and wastage rates and solutions that resulted in the reduction of wasted products/components through best inventory management practices.
A multitude of educational resources and events have been facilitated by ORBCoN. Educational video conferences, symposiums, and access to transfusion medicine rounds are all supported by ORBCoN. In addition, our Blood Easy series are sought after guides to Transfusion Medicine education for health care professionals. ORBCoN provides online competency assessments and tools to improve standardized transfusion medicine practice.
ORBCoN has developed and facilitated redistribution programs of blood components and protein plasma products. ORBCoN provided validated shipping containers (previously not widely available) for the transport of blood components that has proven to be a driver of the redistribution programs success.
ORBCoN is very proud of their collaborative work ethic and has facilitated the development of many working groups that brings together a multidisciplined team of health care professionals. This has been shown in our recent successful collaboration on the Ontario Transfusion Quality Improvement Plan with Choosing Wisely Canada; Massive Hemorrhage Protocol working group; and, our past groups such as the Platelet Task Force.
A vast array of toolkits that aid in best practices have been established and more are under development. These can be found in the Resources section.
ORBCoN’s accomplishments have included the development and sharing of resources that directly support hospitals in their compliance with blood regulations, standards and accreditation requirements.
Each year ORBCoN develops a work plan and prioritizes initiatives that will align with the Ontario Blood Utilization Strategy and our mission, vision and values.
Patient Safety: We promote optimal transfusion practices for the best patient care.
Accountability: We share accountability with providers, hospital partners, the Ministry and Canadian Blood Services (CBS) to continually improve the blood system in Ontario.
Leading Practice: We use evidence to inform what we do, produce and share.
Collaboration: We cultivate relationships and support sharing knowledge and expertise for better outcomes.
Quality: We strive to produce supports that help our users achieve desired outcomes and continuously improve quality.
Committees, Regional Meetings, and Working Groups
ORBCoN is comprised of three regional offices across Ontario. Each office operates with a Project Sponsor, Regional Manager, and Regional Project Coordinators. One regional office is our program lead. In addition, housed in our Northern and Eastern Ontario office we employ a website administer and program administrator. Clinical expertise is available from our Physician Clinical Project Coordinator and the Nursing Clinical Project Coordinator.
Dr. Jeannie Callum Project Sponsor email@example.com
Troy Thompson Regional Manager firstname.lastname@example.org 289-339-6648
Dr. Allison Collins Clinical Project Coordinator Transfusion Medicine Physician email@example.com
Stephanie Cope Regional Project Coordinator firstname.lastname@example.org 289-314-3734
Alison Wendt Regional Project Coordinator email@example.com 647-998-6746
Dr. Donald Arnold Project Sponsor firstname.lastname@example.org
Rebecca Barty Regional Manager email@example.com 289-962-2604
Donna Berta Clinical Project Coordinator Nursing firstname.lastname@example.org 289-237-4010
Laurie MacLeod Regional Project Coordinator email@example.com 289-339-5736
Sheena Scheuermann Regional Project Coordinator firstname.lastname@example.org 905-928-0538
Other Ministry of Health Blood Programs
The Ontario Transfusion Coordinators (ONTraC) program is a provincial patient blood management program that enhances transfusion practice by interacting with physicians, nurses, and patients to promote patient blood management and alternatives to transfusion. Established in 2002, ONTraC is a unique initiative supported by the Ministry of Health. It is a network of nurse coordinators in 25 hospitals across the province who are responsible for implementing and managing patient blood management programs within their institutions. The program focuses on treating preoperative anemia in patients undergoing elective joint replacement surgery, cardiac surgery, and gynecological surgery. The program has been successful in reducing transfusion rates, improving clinical outcomes and has proven to be cost effective.
For more information please visit the ONTraC website at www.ontracprogram.com.
Factor concentrate products are very expensive. The objective of this program is to eliminate the expiry of factor concentrates in Ontario through the FCRP. Together with ORBCoN, the FCRP Coordinator aid in the redistribution and will work with hospitals and Canadian Blood Services to arrange shipping of any near outdating product. The FCRP Coordinator works closely with the Regional Hemophilia Programs to ensure it is used before expiry.
For more information please contact the Hemophilia Provincial Coordinator, Sarah Crymble at email@example.com.
The Ontario Transfusion Transmitted Injury Surveillance System (TTISS-ON) is contacted by the Ministry of Health (MOH) and the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) and is committed to the development of a comprehensive program for reporting Adverse Transfusion Events (ATEs) in Ontario as an important part of the national hemovigilance system implemented in 2001 by the Infectious Disease Prevention & Control Branch of the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC).
To report a transfusion reaction, find out what reactions to report or become part of the TTISS-ON participating hospitals, more information is found at www.ttiss.mcmaster.ca.
For more information contact Joanne Duncan, MSc, CCRP, HRM, TTISS-ON Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org.