Mediware’s Remote Blood Management Solution Enables Hospital Expansion

Shands at the University of Florida used Mediware’s BloodSafe® refrigerators with intelligent integration to HCLLTM Transfusion to help overcome hospital growth challenges; Monique Huggins, technical specialist at Shands, plans to present experiences at  Mediware’s annual customer conference on Oct. 13.

LENEXA, KS Oct 13, 2010Mediware Information Systems, Inc. (Nasdaq: MEDW) announced that its hospital-based blood management technologies have successfully enabled the growth of one of the company’s most prestigious blood bank customers. Shands HealthCare recently opened the Shands Cancer Hospital, an expansion of Shands at the University of Florida in Gainesville; closed Shands AGH, a nearby community hospital; and relocated the hospital’s blood bank to two new locations.

The Shands at UF blood bank implemented a combination of Mediware’s technologies, including the BloodSafe® remote-release refrigerators and HCLLTM Transfusion along with other process improvements to overcome critical issues, increase the accessibility of blood and improve efficiencies.

“Shands at UF is one of the Southeast’s premier academic medical centers, and we are pleased to have played a role in this major expansion effort,” said Thomas Mann, Mediware president and chief executive officer. “Our work together has been a model partnership to configure these technologies to best meet their goals.”

Relocating the blood bank was a key challenge to the hospital’s expansion plan. The hospital’s pneumatic tube system was found to impact delivery times and require hand deliveries, which added a minimum of 15 minutes to every order.

“Mediware’s technology allows us to operate remotely, providing speed, efficiency and safety with every order we process through the STAT Lab,” said Tisha Irwin, M.D., UF College of Medicine pathologist and Shands at UF Transfusion Services medical director.

Leaders at Shands at UF chose to add Mediware’s BloodSafe system, which includes computer-controlled refrigerators that allow Shands at UF employees to remotely release specific units of blood for individual patients. By installing the BloodSafe machines in a centrally located ‘STAT Lab’ close to high-use areas of the hospital, the Shands at UF team enabled remote dispensing. As a result, the team overcame key accessibility issues while continuing to adhere to strict safety controls.

“Moving blood across our campus takes time and resources,” said Monique Huggins, Shands at UF Blood Bank technical specialist. “We needed to increase access and still maintain safe controls. Mediware’s technology solved our problems and allowed us to store and crossmatch blood in two places at once.”

Clinicians use the system’s onboard computer to identify patients and access the appropriate units — all in about 60 seconds. Emergency and massive transfusion protocols are also accommodated in BloodSafe to improve accessibility without compromising security.

Behind the scenes, the intelligent integration between BloodSafe and HCLL electronically crossmatches patients to blood products in inventory and selects the most appropriate units for the patient. This includes key inventory management protocols that ensure the oldest products are used first. This level of integration, which required 510(k) clearance by the US Food and Drug Administration, makes remote-release blood management solutions viable and productive.

“The blood bank operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, providing specialized services to departments at both Shands at UF and the Shands Cancer Hospital,” Huggins said. “Special orders and complex processing require licensed medical technologists. The combination of BloodSafe and HCLL allows us to focus our staff and resources to become more efficient and productive. BloodSafe has become an extension of the blood bank.”

Huggins will present a product testimonial during Mediware’s annual blood and biologics management customer conference on Oct. 13 following the AABB Advancing Transfusion and Cellular Therapies Worldwide conference in Baltimore, MD. Registration for this customer-only event is accessible from www.mediwareusers.org.

To read a case study on the Shands at UF expansion, request a meeting at the upcoming AABB trade show, or register for an upcoming Web-cast.

About Mediware
Mediware delivers interoperable best-of-breed software systems that integrate with electronic medical records to improve efficiencies and address safety concerns enabling healthcare organizations to improve care processes while decreasing costs. Core Mediware solutions include blood management technologies for hospitals and blood centers; medication management solutions for hospitals, behavioral health facilities, infusion and specialty pharmacy providers; and business intelligence-based performance management solutions for clinical, regulatory and financial aspects of the broader healthcare market. For more information about Mediware products and services, visit our web site at www.mediware.com.