Hospital Blood Bank

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    Vinnie Brigandi

    Currently doing a project in our hospital Blood Bank to maximize space and improve workflow.  Has anyone done a project in this area?
    One of the challenges is the space – one process has staff from nursing units or departments coming to the BB for blood, and they currently come into the department which adds to an already crowded space. I have proposed an issuing window but the computer is needed to verify info (I guess we could propose a tablet for verification of the info against the paperwork).  Any ideas from those that might have addressed these types of issues in their hospital.  Also, how have you handled delivery from blood suppliers?  Currently, boxes are delivered to the department and tested/processed – again crowding the department.
    Any ideas?  Please help.


    Robert S

    This is far more about flow than it is about removing variation; therefore, it’s not really a SS project. Don’t know if that matters or not.
    Likely not, you simply need to solve a problem. So work out the flow: comes in here, is stored here, computer check here, dispensed here. Calculate physical dimensions needed for each queue and match to the space you have available. Pretty straightforward.


    Elaine Van Oyen

    We have used pass through windows (technically cut-out of walls) in several sites successfully for many years.  In all cases the ‘windows’ are in corridors that do not have public access.  We learned from a previous configuration at one of our sites that having the access in a public corridor creates significant challenges with respect to confidentiality. 
    It also created a problem for fire safety.  It was designed with a sliding metal “door” that closed automatically when the fire alarm was activated, leaving no access during drills, and sometimes for quite a while after as the door needed to be reset by facilities mainenance staff.
    Our current configurations have openings that are at the height of a standing bench, with a bench on the lab side of the opening.  At most sites they are in close reach of refrigerators used to stored crossmatched/reserved units.  A standing bench allows easy access to computers.  Terminals on these benches are dedicated to activities related to blood product dispenses.
    Good luck with your project.



    I work in a blood bank and have done a few space related mini-projects.  If you would like to e-mail me directly i would be happy to help any way i can.  [email protected]

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