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Mabel Adams

Dropping Blood Bank Bands

8 posts in this topic

We are moving to Epic next year and there is a suggestion that we could drop our separate blood bank banding system due to the tight protocols in Epic for patient/specimen ID.  I would love to hear from others who do not use a BB banding system how you justify it and also how you manage OP transfusions, pre-ops and any other patient not actually wearing a hospital ID band that can be scanned at specimen collection.  Thanks in advance.

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   We are switching to Epic in a few months. We are not dropping the band because there are ways around not using the system ID to draw the blood. Also unless all your nurses have printers that they can take into the room to collect the patients. they will be printing the labels at the nurse's station and then taking them into the room which to me is an accident waiting to happen. Also if Epic is down, again there is no best practice for making sure the correct patient is being collected. I would seriously wait until you have used Epic for a period of time before removing the bands. What Blood Bank system will you be using?

AMcCord likes this

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Better make certain you validate the heck out of Epic, esp if you are using  Beaker.  My most recent experience with Epic/Beaker and HCLL made me want to call the FDA.  I'd run my own validation protocols rather than the Epic ones.  Not enough training for staff , though this could have been a vagary of the institution rather than the system. 

AMcCord and CarrieM like this

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We will continue on SafeTrace which we have used since 2008.  We will try to validate and test very extensively; we are pretty compulsive! 

As I understand the specimen collection process in Epic, they have to scan the wristband which brings up the orders so they know what to draw; this causes the labels to print (yes, possibly at the station, not in the room) then they draw the blood, label it and have to scan the specimen labels and the patient wristband again.  I too am concerned about holes in the process with the labels printing at the nurses' station. It also means the patient has to have on the correct hospital band for this to work.   I would like to know if other Epic users are using the above scanning process for all specimens (even nurse collects).

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We have continued to use a unique blood bank banding system and have been on EPIC for several years.  ER had their own EPIC label printer but the lab had to remove it due to the high number of labelling errors. 

AMcCord likes this

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We have had Epic for 6 years and dropped our BB band.  Best thing we ever did.  We require two draws, the second has to be OUR phlebs in the Lab using the MobileLab/Rover with barcode scanning.  Our ED also has Rover, but can "cheat" by force printing multiple labels.  So we never let them collect the 2nd.  Until we get a second (we also use existing CBC tubes), we give type O.

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Terri, what do you do about patients drawn for pre-op or outpatient surgery who aren't wearing hospital bands to be scanned?  Also, does Epic ever have downtimes where you lack all of the scanning abilities for a time?

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We haven't used blood bank bands in over 25 years. Any errors have dramatically dropped since we instituted the second specimen draw (required for non O patients).

Also, checking care everywhere in Epic adds another layer of safety...being able to see any history of blood types and antibodies detected at other facilities has helped tremendously. 

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