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Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

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Award-winning system saves OUH over £500,000 per year

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An award-winning system to prevent errors in the blood transfusion process is saving Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust more than £500,000 a year.

Mike Murphy, Consultant Haematologist, National Blood Service and Department of Haematology, John Radcliffe Hospital, and Simon Noel, Project Development Manager, Blood Safety and Conservation Team at the OUH, have used information technology to improve both safety and efficiency, by focusing on procedures before transfusion, and on the collection and labelling of samples, as well as speeding up the delivery of urgently-needed blood to operating theatres.

The innovative blood management system is designed to reduce transfusion errors by 're-engineering' bedside and laboratory transfusion procedures. The Trust has introduced barcode patient identification labels, bedside handheld computers and electronically controlled blood fridges, which simplify transfusion process and improve practice.

A reduction in waste, both of blood and of staff time, has resulted, and the system is now a routine way of working.

The project's success has been reflected in the Health Service Journal HSJ Efficiency Awards, where it won the category 'Efficiency in Pathology Services'.

The judges commented that:

"This project has facilitated the implementation of order communication and robust patient identification for wider use in healthcare across community and hospital care."

The Health Service Journal HSJ Efficiency Awards, now in their third year, are the only dedicated healthcare awards that recognise exceptional cost savings and efficiencies without sacrificing high standards of patient care.

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