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

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.