"CHFT will be the BloodTrack envy of the world! 110% effort makes us global leaders.

L to R: Sarah Ramsden Jonathan Bray Takis Kalogeropoulos Sam Kershaw Michelle Lake Karen English

We're celebrating after CHFT adopted a "big bang" style approach to installing BloodTrack... and did it!

Some Trusts take up to five years to achieve the first phase.  We have completed phases 1 and 2 in a year and are already onto phase 3. Once that is complete we will be the envy of the world.

Other BloodTrack users thought we were mad to try and achieve it and even the supplier thought it was impossible!

Bloodtrack means we now have full visibility on every unit of blood that comes in.  This reduces the risk of errors, helps comply with regulation and provides 100% tracebility.

We have also managed to get every blood component into BloodTrack. Another achievement is it integrates with EPR and we should be able to improve the transfusion service.

Senior biomedical scientist, Sam Kershaw, was jubilent about their achievements. She said: "The BloodTrack project team at CHFT,  working with colleagues in THIS,  have excelled themselves!  We are a small team yet have implemented phases 1 and 2 within 12 months."

She added: "We've worked with THIS colleagues and, as well as accelerated implementation, we have also managed something that the majority other BloodTrack users haven’t been able to achieve.

"We are not only able to track red cells and platelets through the system, we can also also get the other three blood components (Fresh frozen plasma, cryoprecipitate and Octaplas) to fully work in this new electronic system something which other BloodTrack users throughout the UK & Ireland will be extremely envious of. The majority of other BloodTrack users only use this electronic system for red blood cells &/or platelets".

She said once Phase 3 is complete CHFT will be one of only a handful of users in the world to achieve it - something to be extremely proud of.

She said: "The project team have never been put off by a challenge and phase 3 will be just that... but it will be achieved"


More about BloodTrack....in a nutshell.

We can now track blood electronically from as soon as it comes into our hospital, to it being given to the patient, massively increasing patient safety.

Bloodtrack provides the control, visibility & traceability needed to safely store, dispense and administer blood components. It also verifies the right blood component is transfused to the right patient at the bedside.

This is a real step on from our old paper system, which was a lengthy process requiring two nurses to check components on the ward due to the risk of human error.

If a patient needs a transfusion, a blood sample is taken. At the bedside the wristband and ID is scanned. The blood is then taken down to the lab, where it's booked in and tested to see if there are any special requirements for the patient

The blood is selected out of the fridge and tested against the patient's sample. Once all checked and confirmed as a match, BloodTrack "talks" to our laboratory computer system to tell the ward it's ready for collection

The patient's wristband is scanned again which generates a pick-up slip

Ward staff go to the pathology department and log into the fridge - BloodTrack does yet more cross checking and if everything is ok it releases the blood.

Once back on the ward, staff have to log in so BloodTrack can scan the blood to check it's the right blood and hasn't been out of the fridge too long (an alarm sounds if there is a problem)

Samples were previously handwritten and could easily be labelled away from the patient - something which goes against every transfusion guideline. Errors like this have the potential to have catastrophic effects on the patient if they are labelled incorrectly, possibly resulting with the incorrect blood group being transfused to the patient, which may lead to death in some circumstances.

CHFT initially split the project into 3 phases.

  • Phase 1: Collection of components electronically from the existing blood banks
  • Phase 2: Sample collection & transfusion in the ward areas
  • Phase 3: Remote electronic issue of blood components