White Paper: Effective use of an Online Portal to Manage Cord Blood Donors and Collection Staff: The Institute of Transfusion Medicine (ITxM) Experience

Abstract: Could a portal be used by Cord Blood Banks to increase donations, improve donor education and information sharing and manage the registration, training and competency of collection staff?

Clinical portals have been successfully adopted in medical practices as a means of strengthening communication and information sharing between the patient and physician. The most widely used online features include: pre-registration, completion of health history information, scheduling of appointments and online review of laboratory results. ITxM posed the question; could a portal be used by Cord Blood Banks to increase donations, improve donor education and information sharing and manage the registration, training and competency of collection staff?

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In partnership with Mediware Information Systems Inc., ITxM created a Web-based Cord Blood portal to provide donors with an online option for registration and account management. This includes the ability for donors to review consents and complete health history questionnaires online. Similarly, the tool provides a means for collection staff to manage accounts, order supplies, perform training and complete competency exams via the Web.

Launched in August of 2013, ITxM has been collecting data to analyze the successful integration of this medium in a public Cord Blood Bank business model. While this is an ongoing study, preliminary data and feedback from the end-users suggest that the portal is a viable option for meeting target metrics.

Analysis endpoints for this evaluation included the number of online donor registrations and collector trainings for the six month period (September – February) that the portal has been operational against the prior 6 month period from 2013, which is representative of a manual registration and training processes. During this period, ITxM has realized a 23.9% increase in donor registrations (p=.05) and a 22.1% increase in collector training. Figures 1 and 2 provide graphical representations of the data comparison for donors and collectors respectively.

Preliminary data indicates that the portal is a successful tool for facilitating Web-based registration for donors and online collector training. We will continue to evaluate this data and publish an expanded analysis which will address other parameters impacted by this tool such as improved efficiencies in operations and compliance, as well as donor and collector satisfaction.

Anthony Donofrio¹, Mary Wiegel¹, and Jonathan Wofford²

From the ¹Institute of Transfusion Medicine and ²Mediware Information Systems Inc.