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ARC Packing Slips? Keep? Trash? HELP!


linzeej12
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Hey everyone! My lab director seems to think we need to keep the packing slips from ARC for 10 years. Why would we do this? She checks the billing and makes sure everything is correct. Why keep them after the billing is checked? Anyone have any thoughts?

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It is probably more to do with the unit numbers than the number of units you have received (if you see what I mean).

Certainly, in the UK, we have to keep a record of the unit numbers we have received, and their fate, for 30 years, so that if there is any question of the units causing either morbidity or mortality because of a previously "unknown" viral/bacterial/parasitic or prion infection, we can look back and see what is going on.  For the same reason, we have to keep frozen samples of donor plasma for 30 years.

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More likely the slips must be hung onto at least until after your blood provider gets their payment.  If there is any dispute over what you are charged and/or paying for, then you have their packing slip to refer to as a sort of "receipt".  Doesn't seem like you would need to hang onto them forever.  May be a billing department requirement.

Scott

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I have struggled with this too.  I keep mine because of the ARC statement:  All products in the shipment have been inspected and found suitable for distribution.  We document inspection on receipt in the computer when entering into our system.  I keep mine for 5 years?? Maybe this should be changed to 10 if it is needed at all.  ARC was suppose to go to an electronic Packing slip but for some reason never perfected.  I figure at that point I will be able to stop keeping.  Hoping someone finds a definitive answer to this and posts it. 

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On 6/20/2018 at 8:14 AM, pinktoptube said:

We have always kept the packing slip for 10 years as part of the traceability of unit, granted the information is entered in our LIS.

Same with us. We are scanning them into a storage data base, validating the scan, then discarding. The data base info is held for 10 years from the time the document is scanned into it.

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23 hours ago, slsmith said:

We keep them because it is a AABB standard to retain them for 10 years. If your hospital isn't AABB accredited then there shouldn't be a reason to keep them

what is the standard?

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It depends on your policies and how you handle the documentation.  You need documentation for each part of the process. If one tech can sign the form and document the inspection and another tech enters into the computer under his or her name, you don’t have a complete tracking of the unit.  Also, if you are busy, there could be a delay in entering the units in the computer.  If your policy states the one receiving and inspecting units enters them in computer on receipt, you don’t need the paperwork. There could be some other form for that documentation.  The Blood Center is keeping a copy of that form and if you sign for it at 0530, you need to document what you did with the blood until you put it in computer at 0730.  

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  • 1 year later...
On 6/21/2018 at 7:35 AM, ANORRIS said:

I scan them into a folder on my PC and throw away the paper copies

I do this as well and put them into a network folder where we'll probably keep them for 10 years. Maybe. I only scan them once a quarter on a big copier that can do them all, then it emails me a pdf. Sometimes the files can get big so at the end of the year I use a compression program to shrink them down and save server space (7-zip).

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  • 3 months later...

We keep them for a month or two.   Once I do my 'turn around, vendor assessment audit', I toss them.

Why?

1. These aren't handwritten papers anymore, we have other records bearing the exact same data generated by the exact same actions: All units scanned as shipped appear on the 'packing slip' and on our account, i.e. A unit is not going to be listed on a packing slip that does not appear on our account and vice versa.  

2. The techs correlate the packing slip with the actual units at the time of receipt so we know the numbers are right.  Discrepancies are remedied at that time.

3. The units are entered into the lab computer system where the record is kept 'indefinitely', not just 30 years (that rule reasoning goes back, again, to keeping those old handwritten log books) ... who decided 30 years was a good 'throw them out now' point, by the way?  With computerization, we are keeping these records 'forever'.  Maybe the rule will change to something past the max human lifetime, like 'keep electronically for at least 110 years'.

4. I can access the bills online which bear every unit of blood in every transaction and I can review every unit in our database if there is a question on a bill.  Note that discrepancies are picked up when they are received, not weeks, months or years later.  I don't know how it's been going in other BBs, but our discrepancies that I detect during my 'audit' are about the billing from the Reference Lab or other services such as 'STAT Fees' that should not have been applied, not about which units of blood did or did not arrive.

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To keep or not to Keep, that is the question. My answer is to review the guidelines for your accrediting agency and follow their rules. I personally keep them for approximately 2 years because that is about how long it takes to fill a storage box. Once filled, I send to an offsite storage for another 2 years then they are destroyed.

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