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Presentation submitted by Michelle Davis, Carson Hollingsworth, Morgan Sowers and Abigail Wegman.

Participating teams were challenged by Canadian Blood Services to identify, design and implement a solution to achieve “vein-to-vein” tracking and traceability of blood products from the “vein” of donors to the “vein” of recipients.

Executive Summary:

Canadian Blood Services (CBS) is uniquely positioned to capitalize on emerging technology to create a more agile and efficient organization. Through utilizing a vein-to-vein RFID technology solution, we plan to introduce a transparent, predictive, and balanced supply chain to CBS. Our recommendation allows CBS to target the exact supply as needed, monitor real-time inventory levels to reduce waste, and avoid stockouts through improved demand forecasting. By focusing efforts on technology to automate processes, CBS can embrace simplicity and ultimately create a healthier Canada.

Our solution is framed by the knowledge that to reach our goal of a healthier Canada we must get the right blood to the right patient at the right time. The only way to ensure this is through a supply chain that supports vein-to-vein tracking and traceability. The current CBS system tracks information from collection to distribution, but lacks visibility once blood products reach hospitals. The lack of end-to-end information flow led us to our recommendation of implementing an automated, real-time RFID-based solution. The RFID solution will allow CBS to replace paper documents and manual data collection with real-time data that easily syncs with their existing information systems. The RFID solution will allow CBS to monitor blood products from the donor all the way to transfusion. This infrastructure, which easily manages the exchange and flow of information, ensures an adequate supply, reduces waste, and increases efficient use of valuable blood products.

The three key outcomes of this recommendation include targeted supply, balanced inventory, and predictive demand. This solution ensures adequate supply by collecting real-time tracking data through RFID, which CBS can use to recruit specific supply needs based on demand or characteristics as well as automatically trace and monitor expirations and recalls. A balanced inventory reduces the waste of blood products through accurate, real-time visibility of current inventory. It also allows for real-time analysis and reporting of trends which can be used for efficiency planning, while also creating alerts to prompt clinicians to use items nearing expiration. The use of real time demand signals improves demand forecasting models which will lead to better demand predictions.

Our recommended implementation plan begins with a partnership with SimplyRFID, who will tailor the system design and system security and perform necessary testing. The next step involves surveying and solving for readiness and barriers of implementation at possible pilot locations before implementing the program in those key markets. During the pilot stage we recommend targeting hospitals with existing LIS systems for smoother integration. After pilot success, full implementation can proceed with the entire CBS system. Throughout the process, we suggest utilizing RFID technology and other methods to monitor data integration and management, revise policies and procedures, and track key performance indicators.

Implementation of a vein-to-vein RFID technology solution positions CBS for the future by creating a supply chain that connects donors to patients with optimal visibility. Investing in an RFID technology solution today will allow CBS to reach the highest levels of patient safety and outcomes, leading to a healthier Canada tomorrow.

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