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September 2021

Using Blood Wisely One Year Later – Ontario Hospitals Stepping Up to the Challenge

By Doreen Day, Project Manager, Pan-Canadian Initiatives, Choosing Wisely Canada and Dr. Yulia Lin, Transfusion Medicine Specialist, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre & Transfusion Lead, Choosing Wisely Canada

In September 2020, Choosing Wisely Canada in collaboration with Canadian Blood Services launched Using Blood Wisely, a national campaign to decrease inappropriate red blood cell (RBC) transfusion practices in Canada. The campaign challenges hospitals to conduct a spot audit of recent red blood cell transfusions to see how they compare to national appropriateness benchmarks. By joining, participating hospitals gain access to quality improvement resources to support efforts in reducing inappropriate RBC transfusion practices. Sites that meet or exceed benchmarks are then eligible to become a designated Using Blood Wisely Hospital.  

One year into the campaign and Using Blood Wisely is showing an overwhelming commitment from hospitals across the country seeking to improve RBC transfusion practices. To date, over 190 hospitals representing nine provinces and one territory have signed onto the campaign, accounting for 66% of all blood transfused in Canada (not including Québec). 65 of these hospitals have received national recognition as Using Blood Wisely Hospitals for meeting and maintaining benchmarks.

Ontario hospitals have shown great enthusiasm and leadership in their participation. 77 hospitals from across the province have signed on to take part, with 56 (73%) submitting benchmarking data, and to date, 13 Ontario sites have been designated as Using Blood Wisely Hospitals. The next phase of the campaign will focus on supporting sites on their quality improvement journey, to identify and address barriers and to see them through on their road to improved RBC transfusion practices.

If your hospital is not participating in Using Blood Wisely, we encourage you to join the campaign. Challenge your hospital to benchmark on appropriate transfusion practices by signing up and conducting a spot audit. If your hospital exceeds and maintains benchmarks, you are eligible for the Using Blood Wisely hospital designation. If your hospital doesn’t meet the benchmarks, follow through with the quality improvement implementation resources provided, and work towards qualifying for designation. In addition, participation in this campaign will also be acknowledged as an organizational quality improvement initiative by Accreditation Canada’s Qmentum Program.

For more information or to join the campaign, please visit www.usingbloodwisely.ca.

University of Toronto Transfusion Medicine Rounds – September 23, 2021

September 23 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

Albumin: Understanding the Controversy presented by Dr. Justyna Bartoszko

Bloody Easy Blood Administration (BEBA) Resources

By Donna Berta RN BScN, Clinical Project Coordinator – Nursing, ORBCoN 

Renewal of ORBCoN’s resource Bloody Easy Blood Administration, known as BEBA, is complete!

The BEBA Handbook version 3 has been available electronically for several months, with the French translation, print copies, and the BEBA eLearning program coming soon. These tools, for ongoing learning and for competency assessment, are ready to guide you in your day-to-day transfusion patient care.

To ensure patient safety, blood transfusion is highly regulated by Health Canada and Transfusion Medicine standards. BEBA Handbook is referenced to these standards to provide clear rationale for polices and procedures. BEBA eLearning stems from the handbook but focuses on red blood cell (RBC) transfusion, the most frequently transfused blood component (nearly 1,000 RBC units are transfused across Ontario hospitals every day).

BEBA Handbook begins with the fundamentals of transfusion safety: blood production and ABO/Rh(D) compatibility. Examples are provided to apply your understanding of compatibility, often a challenging topic. The essential knowledge for administering common blood components and products is available in table format. The transfusion process from informed consent to group and screen testing to checking blood to documentation is outlined in detail. Transfusion is not without potential complications; acute and delayed transfusion reactions and their management are explained. To practice your learning, acute transfusion reaction scenarios are presented.  Urgent transfusion basics and the 7 T’s of Ontario’s Massive Hemorrhage Protocol are illustrated. Throughout the handbook, concepts are noted in depth as well as summarized with charts for quick reference. A one-page synopsis, the Transfusion Checklist, completes the handbook. The ORBCoN website also provides the Transfusion Checklist in poster format for hospitals to tailor to their individual needs.

Transfusionist competency assessment is an explicit requirement of the standards. The BEBA eLearning program was developed to meet this responsibility. The learning module identifies current evidence-based adult transfusion guidelines for RBC, platelets, and plasma followed by a review of required actions for safe transfusion (for blood administration and in the event of a reaction). Engaging, interactive learning activities were created by ORBCoN’s accomplished Information Technology Analyst. The assessment quiz questions will be refreshed on an annual basis. The program is operationalized via ORBCoN’s new Learning Management System (further described in this Newsletter).

It is anticipated that these resources will augment your practice. Future endeavours include guidance via patient case analysis as well as developing neonatal and pediatric foci. Opportunities to enhance learning and optimize transfusion patient care are welcomed; please provide your feedback and suggestions (email transfusionontario@gmail.com).


ORBCoN Launches New Learning Management System

By Troy Thompson, Regional Manager, ORBCoN

ORBCoN is pleased to announce the launch of a new Learning Management System (LMS) for our learning resources.  We are excited to announce a partnership with Surge Learning Inc. intended to facilitate and further enhance the ease of access to relevant and valuable educational content for healthcare professionals related to transfusion medicine. 

The Bloody Easy eLearning programs (Bloody Easy Blood Administration and Bloody Easy Lite) will be the first programs transitioned to our new platform; with the Bloody Easy Technologist assessment program being rebuilt and re-launched in the future.
The Learning Management System (LMS) makes it easy for your team to continue their online education and gain access to the resources they need while scheduling, tracking, and reporting on their progress.

More information regarding the new LMS and the registration process will be sent to each Ontario hospital.  If you require any additional information please contact troy.thompson@sunnybrook.ca.