Vancouver General Hospital (VGH) is celebrating being our first site designated as a Using Blood Wisely hospital, an initiative of Choosing Wisely Canada and Canadian Blood Services. Awarded in August, the Using Blood Wisely designation symbolizes VGH's commitment to red blood cell stewardship and the continuous pursuit of quality improvement.
This achievement demonstrates VGH's Transfusion Medicine team's success. They have dedicated the last five years to updating their red blood cell transfusion program to enhance patient safety while responsibly managing the donated blood supply, a precious resource in great demand.
Dr. Krista Marcon, Hematopathologist and VGH's Using Blood Wisely Physician Champion first learned of the designation in May 2021 and recognized it as a way to measure their quality improvements' effectiveness against national benchmarks.
After completing the year-long Using Blood Wisely application and audit process, the team learned that not only does VGH's red blood cell transfusion program meet the benchmarks, it often exceeds them.
For Dr. Marcon, being designated acknowledges the team's incredible work.
“This designation validates the effectiveness of blood transfusion quality improvement initiatives we have designed and implemented," Dr. Marcon says. “It gives us confidence that as a hospital, we are committed to appropriate and responsible blood transfusion practice."
Tara Winckler, Regional Transfusion Medicine Clinician says this is a big win for VGH and thanks physicians and nurses for the important role they played by adopting updated workflows and practices.
“I am so proud of all of us for receiving this designation," Tara says. “It represents our combined dedication to patient safety and the appropriate use of red blood cell transfusions."
Tara reports that she is currently leading the expansion of VGH's red cell blood transfusion model across Vancouver Coastal Health, beginning with Richmond Hospital. VGH is B.C.'s second hospital to be designated a Using Blood Wisely site after St. Paul's Hospital.