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The True Cost of Transfusion Program Overview

On September 24, 2018, the Blood Systems organization united under one shared name, Vitalant. Programs posted prior to that date may contain legacy branding.

Program Description

According to AHRQ’s Heathcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP), blood transfusions are the most common procedure performed in the United States, more than doubling in rate between 1997 and 2010. In 2012 the ABIM Foundation launched Choosing Wisely® with a goal of advancing a national dialogue on avoiding wasteful or unnecessary medical tests, treatments and procedures informed by evidence-based recommendations. In April 2014 in support of patient safety, AABB issued a list of five key messages that all providers and patients should know as they discuss how to optimize the care of patients who might need a transfusion. By avoiding unnecessary transfusions and their associated risks, healthcare professionals through their local patient blood management (PBM) programs are balancing improved patient safety while directly and indirectly saving healthcare dollars. Savings have been seen in a decline in overall blood utilization and in the acquisition cost of blood components (eg, the direct costs). The indirect costs of blood (such as hospital-based storage and transfusion costs) are at least four times more expensive than the direct costs of blood, but can be difficult to assess. Blood Systems has created a tool called the Transfusion Cost Calculator based on the cost of blood consensus conference (COBCON) findings that helps hospitals estimate their own indirect costs of blood transfusions. This webinar will review AABB’s five key Choosing Wisely® messages and demonstrate how to use the Transfusion Cost Calculator as a modeling tool.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of the workshop, the participant will be able to:

  • List AABB's five key Choosing Wisely® messages
  • Discuss how the key messages can both improve patient safety while also saving healthcare dollars.
  • Use Blood System’s Transfusion Cost Calculator as a modeling tool when optimizing hospital workflow processes

Level of Instruction

  • Intermediate

Speaker Credentials

Kevin Land, MD


Technical Requirements and Assistance

To view the program material, you need a computer with a supported web browser and a dial-up or better internet connection. The supported operating systems and web browsers are:

Operating Systems

  • Windows 2000, XP, Vista, Windows 7
  • MacOS X 10.4 or later
  • Linux 2.6 with KDE or Gnome

Web Browsers

  • Internet Explorer 6 or later
  • Firefox 2 or later
  • Safari 3 or later
  • Opera 9 or later

Technical Support

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