Optimizing electronic blood ordering and supporting administration workflows to improve blood utilization in the pediatric hospital setting

Michelle Stoffel, Michael G. Leu, Dwight Barry, Jennifer Hrachovec, Nabiha H. Saifee, Darren S. Migita, Nate Deam, Carlos E. Villavicencio, M. Pauline O'Hare, Amy Pagliarulo, Meghan Delaney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Red blood cell wastage occurs when blood is discarded rather than transfused, and ineffective ordering results in unnecessary crossmatch procedures. We describe how a multimodal approach to redesigning electronic ordering tools improved blood utilization in a pediatric inpatient setting and how using innovative application of time series data analysis provides insights into intervention effectiveness, which can guide future process improvement cycles. Methods: A multidisciplinary team used best practices and Toyota Production System methodology to redesign electronic blood ordering and improve administration processes. We analyzed crossmatch to transfusion ratio and red blood cell wastage time series data extracted from our laboratory information system and electronic health record. We used changepoint analysis to identify statistically discernible breaks in each time series, compatible with known interventions. We performed causal impact analysis on red blood cell wastage time series data to estimate blood wastage avoided due to the interventions. Results: Changepoint analysis estimated an 11% decrease in crossmatch to transfusion ratio and a 77% decrease in red blood cell monthly wastage rate during the intervention period. Causal impact analysis estimated a 61% reduction in expected wastage compared to the scenario if the interventions had not occurred. Discussion: Our results show that electronic health record design is an important factor in reducing waste and preventing unnecessary crossmatching, and that time series analysis can be a useful tool for evaluating the long-term impact of each stage of intervention in a longitudinal process redesign effort for the purpose of effectively targeting future improvement efforts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2328-2340
Number of pages13
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Authors. Transfusion published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of AABB.


  • blood utilization
  • clinical decision support
  • electronic ordering
  • wastage


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