Oakville hospital recognized with Using Blood Wisely designation


Published March 5, 2024 at 10:09 am

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Oakville’s hospital has been recognized for its commitment to red blood cell stewardship and continuous quality improvement.

The Using Blood Wisely (UBW) Hospital designation from Choosing Wisely Canada and Canadian Blood Services has been given to Halton Healthcare’s Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital.

Using Blood Wisely is a national program that aims to preserve the Canadian blood supply for patients most in need of transfusion. The program uses scientific evidence to guide when and how red blood cell transfusions should be used.

“The laboratory plays a key role in supporting physicians in using blood products as efficiently and effectively as possible,” said Shairoz Kherani, director of Laboratory Services and Diagnostic Imaging at Halton Healthcare.

“The Using Blood Wisely Hospital designation requires hospitals to reach certain standards developed by a national steering committee and is based on literature reviews and prior quality improvement studies. Working together, laboratory staff conducted spot audits, performed prospective screening on orders and helped provide education for other healthcare professionals. I am incredibly proud of the teamwork that went into being recognized as a Using Blood Wisely Hospital.”

Halton Healthcare’s Laboratory also received recognition for taking part in Choosing Wisely Canada’s Using Labs Wisely program. This program aims to improve laboratory use by implementing quality improvement projects to reduce low value testing which leads to unnecessary interventions and potential harm to the patient.

“Red blood cell transfusions are a lifesaving but limited healthcare resource that must be used carefully,” said Dr. Anum Haroon and Dr. Pearl Lau, physician leads on Halton Healthcare’s Using Blood Wisely initiative.

“Appropriate use of RBC transfusions reduces the risks of transfusion reactions for our patients. At a health system level, overuse of RBC transfusions jeopardizes patient access to blood transfusions, and strains limited laboratory, health, human and financial resources.”

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