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Hospital Using Blood Vending Machine Complete With Audit Trail Technologies

Posted Dec 09 2010 3:31am

This is pretty neat and actually is a good showing of safety and technology combined.  The patient's medical record number is input and it gives us one unit of image blood for the patient, matching and avoiding errors. 

Stocking the vending machine uses bar code scanning so all the blood is correctly inventoried.  Users can connect to the Microsoft SQL Server database and develop their own custom reports and queries if needed beyond the standard formats.  The diagram below shows how the computer communicates with the unit to connect with patient medical records, a nice safety and error reducing methodology.  BD 

From the website:

“Scan Patient Information - To identify the correct unit to dispense, the user must scan a request form (or Tx Pickup Slip) barcode containing a specific patient's information (the patient can also be selected from a list). HemoSafe then communicates with the Blood Establishment Computer System (BECS/LIS) to image determine if any blood in the HemoSafe has been cross-matched for the patient, if so, HemoSafe will open the compartment containing that blood. If no cross-matched blood is available, HemoSafe will communicate with the BECS system to ensure an electronic cross-match has been performed then open a compartment with unallocated blood of the patient's blood group and print a transfusion tag. “


You won't find a Snickers bar or a cup of chili in the newest vending machine at Bellevue's Overlake Hospital. It's a temperature-controlled image HemoSafe machine that dispenses blood.

These computerized machines provided by the Puget Sound Blood Center release only the amount and type of blood needed by a specific patient.

"It talks to us and the Puget Sound Blood Center computer talks to it and it's very efficient," says Overlake Hospital's Andrea Nordmark.

The Puget Sound Blood Center plans to install the blood vending machines in half-a-dozen hospitals in the coming months.

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