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A guide to help blood bank leaders manage

successful integration

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Implementing a New HIS January 2015



Especially when multiple facilities are involved, HIS

implementation plans may vary, and the steps you


Participate in the Process

Make Contacts

leaders should get involved and become important

Train and Test

equation. Heres what you can do.

Solve Problems

take to manage the integration process will vary

accordingly. Regardless of the scenario, blood bank
components of the successful HIS implementation

1. Ask to participate in the process, and

communicate on behalf of your team


2. Make the right contacts, and stay in touch

While many hospital blood banks have stand-alone

3. Train your team on the new systems

blood bank information systems (BBIS), these sys-

4. Ask for live interfaces well in advance, and

tems must interface with hospital information systems (HIS) and laboratory information systems (LIS)

throughout the process

test every component thoroughly

to send and receive data necessary for patient care.

Getting involved from the beginning will allow your

So when new hospital and/or lab information sys-

blood bank needs to be addressed and will help you

tems are implemented, significant changes can be in

understand how the new systems will interact with

store for everyone, including those in the blood bank.

your BBIS. Ideally, you should provide input regarding

The process is likely to be stressful, especially in

large organizations with multiple facilities. However,
with effective plans in place, blood bank leaders
can successfully navigate the transition and ensure
their blood bank information systems integrate
flawlessly and contribute to quality patient care without interruption.

the design of the blood orders and test sets as well

as the blood documentation. In addition, you should
be involved with the interface development because
you want to be sure that data is able to pass back and
forth between systems.


Clearly, hospital blood bank functions are important,
but with many details to manage, its possible that
those outside the blood bank may not think of everything that the systems and interfaces need to manage.
Therefore, be the expert and represent your blood

Know what information your blood

bank needs, and take the time to learn
how requests for information will
come to you via the HIS and the LIS.

banks needs, and get involved with the design of:

++ Blood orders
++ Test sets
++ Blood and transfusion documentation

2015 Mediware. All Rights Reserved.

Implementing a New HIS January 2015

In addition, be sure the ordering process is streamlined and user-friendly so that orders are clear, which


will help ensure that the data sent back is exactly

Once you have gotten feedback from the nurs-

what was ordered. And ask that other elements be

ing informatics team, start working with the group

incorporated as well, including:

assigned to develop the interfaces between the

various information systems to make sure that your

++ Blood consent

system will be able to send the information that

++ Guidelines for transfusion

users want.

++ Pre- and post-transfusion lab values

++ Guidance documents

Ensure that the interface team understands what

types of information will need to be sent back and
forth between the blood bank, other facility systems

Two of the most important groups to which blood
bank leaders should reach out during this process
are the nursing informatics team and the hospital
interface team. The nursing informatics team will be
responsible for defining the landing place for your
blood bank information. The interface team is the
group that will make certain that your blood bank
system can interact with the upstream systems and
seamlessly exchange datain other words, allow

and patient charts. The information will include:

++ Orders
++ Test results
++ Blood product details
++ Billing
And finally, ask about the names of tests because they
may differ among HIS and LIS applications. To avoid
confusion, try to simplify the names and make them
consistent for users both upstream and downstream.

your BBIS to receive data from the upstream systems

and send your data to the locations established by
the nursing informatics team.


Connecting with this team puts you in touch with the
end users of your information, so start the conversation by asking what blood bank information these
users want to see and how they want it displayed.
Youll also want to know whereon a tab or form
for examplethe information will be displayed in
patient charts. This is especially important later, when
systems are up and running, because questions will
arise and knowing where and how blood bank data

Connect with
the team.

is displayed will enable staff to respond accurately.

2015 Mediware. All Rights Reserved.

Implementing a New HIS January 2015


Blood bank staff will need training to understand the
processes of getting orders in, sending data out and
so forth, even if your BBIS is already in place when
the new systems are implemented because changes
upstream may result in changes at the blood bank
level. Therefore, whatever the implementation plan,
take time to make sure everyone in the blood bank
knows how to use the BBISthe names used, the
key strokes, etc. Screen shots will be especially help-

Try to maintain consistency, especially in

terms of names of tests and other orders,
across all information systems.

ful, and you could also request blood bank access to

the patient side of the HIS. That way, team members
can see what nurses see and can become familiar
with the displays.
Testing is equally important, so begin testing the
interfaces well in advance of the projected live
date. Be sure that connections are established and
the systems can communicate back and forth. Then
verify that the ability to order blood is in place and

Regardless of how the new systems are implemented,
there will be challenges, and there will likely be tension and frustration as well. However, if you have a
voice and also make a point to listen, the challenges
can be overcome.

that billing can occur as well. In addition, if your blood

When problems do arise, be constructive and try to

bank uses automated testing instruments, perform

find solutions. While change is stressful for everyone,

tests to guarantee that they work properly and that

remember that quality patient care is the objective,

the outbound results are received as expected.

so work together to achieve it.

Learn how Mediwares

HCLL Transfusion
software can work for
your blood bank.
Click for more information.

More than 1,500 hospitals and healthcare facilities around the

world rely on Mediware blood management solutions. Our HCLL
Transfusion software is the ultimate transfusion management
system. It sets the standard in patient safety with more than
60 built-in safety checks and real-time patient monitoring to
proactively alert staff of potential errors before they happen.
It has proven and unparalleled integration with HIS systems,
so clinical, financial and operations teams can all access the
data they need to help support fast, informed decision making.
For more information about blood banking solutions for your
hospital, go to

Our thanks to Tina Keefer, product manager for HCLL since 2005, for her help in developing this white paper.
Tina has more than 22 years experience in blood banking, including blood bank manager at a 600-bed tertiary
care facility.

2015 Mediware. All Rights Reserved.