Patient Blood Management Continues to Advance

May 2017


Patient blood management (PBM) is an evidence-based, multidisciplinary approach to optimizing the care of patients who might need a transfusion.

According to the American Association of Blood Banks (AABB), PBM encompasses all aspects of patient evaluation and clinical management surrounding the transfusion decision-making process. It can reduce the need for allogenic blood transfusions and health care costs while ensuring that blood components are available for patients who need them.

In their paper "A data-driven approach to patient blood management" published in the journal Transfusion in 2014, Claudia Cohn and her colleagues in the Blood Bank Laboratory (BBL) found that a semiautomated auditing system they had installed allowed them to "quickly and comprehensively analyze and track blood usage throughout our hospital." Their data-driven process helped to cut their auditing workload in half, increased the percentage of appropriate red blood cell (RBC) transfusions and reduced overall transfusions in targeted areas of the hospital.


"Over five years we have seen a 10 to 15 percent decrease in RBC transfusions, and a 25 percent decrease in platelet transfusions, when tracking blood use by 1000 patient days," said Cohn, an LMP associate professor who is director of the Blood Bank Laboratory and associate director of Clinical Laboratories.

The AABB recently partnered with the Joint Commission, a health care accrediting and certification organization, to update PBM performance measures, drawing data exclusively from electronic medical records. The updated measures were evaluated and tested by volunteer hospitals throughout the country before being finalized and made available as a voluntary certification for patient blood management based on AABB standards to help hospitals realize maximum PBM benefits. 

If you have questions about patient blood management or would like to learn more, feel free to contact Dr. Cohn.