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Blood Bank LIS Replacement Advice Needed

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Currently my lab is using Cerner Millennium.   We are being asked to look at new Blood Bank LIS systems because the rest of the lab is going to Epic Beaker.   I have seen demos of Haemonetics SafeTrace and Mediware HCLL.    I am also trying to get one with Soft scheduled.     I am seeking advice from current users of` these systems.

Are you happy with your BB LIS?  

If given the chance to change to another would you?    

Any additional advice is appreciated.

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I think you posted the same question on the AABB Hub, in which I cannot figure out on how to reply!

I have used both Haemonetics and Cerner products.  I love Haemonetics, as it is very configurable to your needs.  

I would assess your patient population (oncology, pediatrics, SCD, general) and what your current problems are.  How could the new system help?  What would it miss?  My Cerner team tells me that there is no way to configure patients to receive type O RBC products only (neonate, HPC transplants).  Haemonetics has no problem in setting up such a rule.

Once you determine your patient population, ask the vendor for a similar user site and do a site visit.  Talk to the bench techs and ask them, where does the system fail?  

The vendor will tell you that it's all good, but the user's will tell you where the holes are in the system.  

Ultimately, it may be your purchasing team who makes the final decision.  Once it's made, it's your job to fully understand the system and BUID IT RIGHT.  Once it's built, it is hard to unbuild...

Hope this helps somewhat, I found systems administration very interesting, and even taught myself how to query the database and write Crystal reports.  Hopefully you'll have the resources to make the best decision and going forward and design the system for your unique patient population and their needs.

Ann in CA

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Hi Ann,

Yes that was me that also posted on the AABB Hub.  Thanks your for your advice.   I appreciate that you can speak to using Cerner and Haemonetics.   We have been using Cerner since 2005 so this is going to be a big change for us.   You are absolutely right about how great the vendor makes their system sound. This is why I am reaching out for user's opinions.     The Haemonetics product was not very visually appealing and looked like it would be difficult to learn.  Do you have any opinions on this?


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Just curious why you're looking at changing from Cerner for Blood Bank? Is there a reason not to keep it?

I ask this because we have Epic EMR and Cerner LIS (for the whole lab, not just Blood Bank).  We haven't gone to Epic Beaker yet, but I imagine that will be in the cards in the future.

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We also have Cerner for the whole lab.  As it stands now we are being told that Cerner BB is going to be replaced because the main lab is going to Epic Beaker.  I am not sure if keeping Cerner is an option for us.  It is a question that I am going to ask.   If we keep Cerner I want to be upgraded to the latest version.   Are you using Cerner 2015?  I have seen some screen shots.  Looks like the application icons have a new look.

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When your lab goes to Beaker your BB system will be interfaced, regardless of which system you decide to go with.  My organization has 16 labs on Beaker with HCLL Blood Bank.  We sunsetted Meditech, Cerner, McKesson and Sunquest lab/BB systems and all of the labs are on Beaker and HCLL.

Being downstream from Beaker you will want to become best friends with your Epic interface analyst as there is always some gymnastics that need to occur with any BB system to get it to talk to Epic and Beaker.

After bringing up these 16 sites we learned quite a bit and with our last Epic 2015 upgrade and HCLL Maestro interface upgrade we are at a very steady state.

Don't forget you will want to look at the Blood Product Administration workflow, again, regardless of the BB vendor you choose.

If you have more specific questions PM or email me, Mary.Mendel@Mercy.Net


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  • 4 weeks later...

I've looked at a few systems recently - SAfetrace, HCLL, and Soft.  Personally I liked Soft.  They all have their strong points.  I also recently was involved with an EPIC/Beaker/HCLL interface.  In my professional opinion it was a disaster.  It would take upwards of 30 minutes for BB results to cross the interface - resulting in nursing being unable to transfuse using the transfusion module in EPIC until data crossed.  IF you want more info send me a message.  

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We use HCLL, but it is not interfaced with our LIS, which is McKesson, so there is no problem there. Instead, it interfaces directly with our hospital's chart, registration and billing systems, and this all seems to work pretty well.

In addition to the other suggestions above, I would recommend asking for references from whatever vendors you are considering.  You can talk to other users with the same interfaced systems to get an idea what you will be dealing with.


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