Educational interventions encouraging appropriate use of blood transfusions

A. Abelow, A. Gafter-Gvili, B. Tadmor, M. Lahav, D. Shepshelovich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background and Objectives: The integration of a restrictive packed red blood cells (PRBC) transfusion strategy into daily clinical practice presents a challenge. This study describes the effect of an intervention including educational presentations and computerized alerts on PRBC utilization at a tertiary hospital. Materials and Methods: During December 2014, lectures describing recommended PRBC transfusion indications were presented to all non-intensive care departments. Starting from January 2015, an alert was added to the electronic drug ordering system recommending transfusions at a haemoglobin (Hb) level <7 g/dl or Hb < 8 g/dl in symptomatic patients. The physician was not required to acknowledge the alert. Data regarding measured Hb preceding transfusions were collected. The primary end-point was defined as the percentage of PRBC administered at Hb ≥ 8 g/dl in 2015 compared with 2014. Secondary end-points were the percentage of PRBC administered to patients with Hb < 7 g/dl and the absolute number of PRBC transfused in 2015 compared with 2014. Results: Compared to 2014, in 2015, the percentage of PRBC transfused when the Hb ≥ 8 g/dl was reduced by 18·8% (P < 0·001) and made up 29% of the total PRBC transfused. The absolute number of PRBC transfused decreased by 7·7%. The percentage of PRBC transfused when the Hb < 7 g/dl increased by 25·9% (P < 0·001). Conclusions: Following the described intervention, there was a significant improvement in the appropriateness of PRBC transfusions in our medical centre. These changes occurred despite the lack of interruption of the physician's workflow from the computerized alert. This simple strategy might be of use in implementing a restrictive PRBC transfusion strategy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)150-155
Number of pages6
JournalVox Sanguinis
Volume112
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2017

Keywords

  • appropriate usage
  • education
  • packed cells
  • restrictive strategy
  • transfusions

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