North Mersey Health Informatics Service has chosen the MSoft blood tracking solution to help them meet compliance with European Commission directives for blood audits.
Using the MSoft tracking system, blood samples are taken and stored in 17 transfusion fridges across five trusts – the Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust, Aintree University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, the Cardiothoracic Centre – Liverpool NHS Trust, Liverpool Women’s NHS Foundation Trust and the Walton Centre for Neurology and Neurosurgery NHS Trust.
MSoft’s sales manger, Martin Blake, told E-Health Insider: “We provided the health informatics service (HIS) with a system that will link the five trusts onto two databases. Our system works by using barcodes to label each blood sample, the details of which are linked to IBM kiosks fitted next to the fridge. The purpose of the system is to be able to track the blood as it goes in and out and to link the data with the pathology system used by the HIS.”
On 8 November 2005, a new set of European regulations regarding blood safety came into force. The aim of these regulations is to ensure: the right blood is given to the right patient at the right time, provide vein-to-vein traceability, and store evidence for 30 years.
Blake said that compliance with the regulation was a driving force for North Mersey HIS to go out to tender for a new system.
“Like many trusts, North Mersey realised they needed to embrace new technology to ensure that they could meet new EU directives and track all blood realising what the fate of the sample was. We have ensured that the MSoft blood tracking system is capable of meeting this need.”
John James, project manager for North Mersey HIS, said: “Without question MSoft’s solution was the best placed to meet our key requirements of providing a fully auditable trace of the use of blood and also offers us strategic options in the longer term view.
“The enterprise class system architecture and use of a Microsoft Windows platform simplifies integration with the Connecting for Health framework and supports easier data transfer to the electronic patient record. All of which means that the project should not suffer the limitations of a stand-alone solution as we develop new needs from technology.”
MSoft are new to the healthcare marketplace, but Blake feels that the software they have developed is suited to all NHS trusts.
“We developed this solution in partnership with Trafford Healthcare NHS Trust, so feel equipped to embrace this market. Ultimately, we offer the ability to do away with paper based solutions and use electronic tracking instead. It is far more efficient, especially for auditing and makes for a great change of practice.
“We can also track user training to ensure people are trained at the appropriate levels, and do temperature sensing ensuring the bloods are being stored correctly. The system offers a great real-time monitoring theme for trusts – and recently this has been embraced by Gloucestershire and Bolton, to name but a few.”
According to Martin, the use of paper-based blood tracking processes still goes on in 80% of English trusts, bringing about unnecessary time and cost being spent on manual audits.