Reducing Blood Transfusions Could Save Your Organization More than $1 Million Each Year

July 26, 2017 | Strategic Insights for Health System


​A restrictive transfusion strategy using a quality improvement framework significantly reduced incidence of off-protocol blood transfusions as well as overall red blood cell (RBC) transfusions, resulting in an annual savings of more than $1 million, according to a study published in the August 2017 issue of the Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety. RBC transfusion is one of the most frequently performed hospital procedures in the United States, the authors said, and evidence suggests it is overused and entails significant costs and risks. The study was conducted at a large academic medical center with several services that transfuse large volumes of blood. Interventions included provider education, a best practice advisory for transfusions about a hemoglobin threshold, and improvements to a computerized provider order-entry system.

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