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Auntie-D

Bit of a rant....

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To look at this differently- could it be that we all have so many other tasks to do now that we don't have time to do anything properly?

 

I can't remember having to clean fridges when I was training - I don't think we even considered these things before regulation! though I have probably cleaned more in my BBM role than ever before... I don't remember having to accurately trace blood units,let alone read SOPs (they didn't exist!), auditing, and what was Incident reporting?? .Though I do see the need for all of these  activities and they do make sense.

 

I am in the process of writing a staff capacity plan to obtain more staffing (!!!) and this really shows where the gaps are in our lab activities;  if we weren't all trying to juggle so many tasks, performance would improve, but, I do agree there is a need for a lot more professionalism to be shown by some staff.

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I think you are probably right Malcolm,but at least the requirements  will be documented, and if not adhered to and we can't sustain our QMS activities... then I suspect the regulators won't be very happy chappies!!

 

I hear the MHRA are now beginning to give Major non-conformances against staffing levels being minimal leading to staff being overloaded and there being a risk to quality........only a matter of time for these to be raised as Crital deficiencies if significant folk don't listen. 

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I'm curious, how many of you who feel you and the staff are over whelmed with work load have embraced automated testing in your blood banks?  I'm asking because my transfusion service was the first to embrace automated testing in the intermountain west (USA).  In 1999 I was at the point of needing to do something and my choices were more staff or some other way of testing that aided the staff.  Immucor had just recently come out with their ABS2000.  I was able to convince administration that we needed to leap into the 21st century a year early.  What the automation did was help provide the staff with more time to perform the tedious tasks that all the new regulations etc..  forced upon us.  Yes we still had the occasional human error, you always will when humans are involved, but they were few and far between.  As far as I'm concerned "multitasking" simply means you are doing multiple things not very well.  The use of automation allowed the staff to stay focused on all their other duties while the instruments was performing the routine testing.  I may be an old, semiretired romantic but I really don't think that anyone really wants to make mistakes.  :ohmygod:

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John, I think that many Blood banks in the UK now have automation and provide blood by EI . The workload increase has come about with the introduction of the Blood Safety & Quality Regulations in 2005, and having to have a proper quality system in place, which some labs had to absorb as part of the normal workload without a proper quality structure for Pathology. Managers not only had technical, financial and HR responsibilities but a full QMS to deal with too without adequate support.

 

There are sites which up to a few years ago had no documented training records, SOPs, , audits , change control, validations, let alone incident reporting to the depth we now need to do this.  Haemovigilance reporting in the UK (SHOT) has for 20 + years reported that upto 50% errors causing patient harm originate in the lab- but still many labs were/are not addressing these issues (or even reporting!). Issues with staff culture is also a significant factor - and some people are resistent to improve.

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In the US we also have quality requirements (more extensive requirements every year) that are not supported by staffing. Supervisory functions aren't even included in our workload calculations. Somehow we are just supposed to magically find the time to get all that extra 'stuff' done. Keeps me off the streets at night!

 

And we have automated blood bank testing - they would remove that instrument from this lab over my dead body!

Edited by AMcCord

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I was just curious.  I know that in facilities without automation, no matter the size, it can be the solution to staffing problems.  Or at least a help.  I'm not surprised that the non-technical aspect of the job has grown all out of porportion since I left.  We are seeing it even in small rural POLs.  The bottom line is, I think many, not all, but many of the problems you are seeing with staff is 2 fold.  First, a generational culture change and second, the work load that includes a lot more stuff that is not directly related to patient testing.  Please note that I said patient testing and not patient care.  These can be viewed as two very seperate things. 

There you have it.  A little more philisophical drivel provided free of cost.  :peaceman:

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Reopening this thread :)

 

I am really happy in my new place - for one everyone is happy and lovely and for two there is actually adequate staffing - but I have just witnessed something today that made me cringe.

 

There was a member of staff labelling two lots of blood, for two different patients, side by side on the bench.

 

No for me this is a big no-no - I am under the view that there should only be blood out for one patient at a time to totally elimnate the risk of switches. Is this the common view? Is this common practice?

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We do not have this as a written policy,thinking it's common sense, but I guess it could be an invitation to disaster. The real question is, "How much common sense needs to be spelled out for techs who are intelligent, educated people?" The answer is, "A lot more than we sometimes realize!"

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