COVID-19 has put an extraordinary strain on laboratory medicine in Canada due to critical shortages in blood tubes, devices, and lab staffing.

To address the need to conserve tubes and critical laboratory resources, the Canadian Society of Clinical Chemists and the Canadian Association of Medical Biochemists have assembled two sets of relevant Choosing Wisely Canada recommendations—for hospitals and primary care.

How you can get involved:

Choosing Wisely Canada is not accepting abstracts to be featured virtually at Choosing Wisely Canada’s National Meeting, on May 25 and May 26, 2022.

Showcase your Choosing Wisely Canada initiatives and innovative approaches based on the following themes:

  • Quality Improvement/Implementation (e.g. interventions, health policy, interprofessional collaboration, deprescribing)
  • Measurement and Evaluation (e.g. administrative data, trends in low-value care, impact of intervention on low-value care)
  • Medical Education
  • Patient Engagement

Abstracts will be accepted in English and French. Relevant abstracts will be published in a digital abstract book and considered for online presentations in concurrent breakout sessions.

Important Dates:

  • Abstract submissions will be accepted until February 18, 2022 (extended from January 28, 2022).
  • Abstracts considered for online presentations will be notified by February 16, 2022.
  • National Meeting: May 25 & May 26, 2022.

Full details

Southern Health-Santé Sud has been named the first health region in Canada to receive national Using Blood Wisely Designation. This signifies that each transfusing facility within Southern Health-Santé Sud has met or exceeded the national benchmark of appropriate red blood cell use in Canada.

As a vital and lifesaving resource, protecting Canada’s blood supply has never been more important due to the urgent care needs and constraints related to COVID-19. That’s why over 120 hospitals are participating in the Using Blood Wisely campaign, a national initiative to reduce inappropriate red blood cell transfusions. This campaign challenges hospitals to audit their inpatient red blood cell transfusions to see how they compare to national appropriateness benchmarks.

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Southern Health-Santé Sud is a designated bilingual Regional Health Authority located in southern Manitoba, covering an area over 27 025 square kilometers wherein vibrant communities thrive including: 20 Rural Municipalities, 7 Municipalities, 4 cities, 4 towns, 1 village and 1 unorganized territory; 7 First Nation communities and many other cultures and communities including Métis, Hutterite, Francophone and Mennonite. They serve over 207 855 residents, the fastest growing population in Manitoba.

“These designations are an exciting achievement for all levels of health care, from leadership to front line staff,” says Dr. Charles Musuka, Medical Director, Transfusion Medicine, Shared Health. “We are so grateful for the hard work and dedication of all clinical and laboratory staff in Manitoba. This is a testament to their commitment to providing the best possible care for patients and best practices in Manitoba.”

With support from the Shared Health Transfusion Medicine Program, Best Blood Manitoba, and Choosing Wisely Manitoba, the hospitals and facilities within Southern Health-Santé Sud teamed up to implement the transfusion stewardship project – Appropriate Inpatient Red Blood Cell Utilization in Manitoba. This provincial clinical practice change implemented a new set of guidelines that optimizes laboratory and clinical processes to assess the appropriateness of each unit transfused in the inpatient setting.

Nurse educators, clinical educators, physicians, leaders and other staff from across Southern Health-Santé Sud also took part in a key step of the Appropriate Red Blood Cell Utilization project. Prior to the provincial roll out of the project, these individuals granted the Transfusion Stewardship team their time and expertise by joining in on a workshop to provide feedback on the guidelines. This additional support provided by the region was an influential aspect in the success of this important change for our province.

“The Southern Health-Santé Sud region has been an important partner in this project,” said Petr Kresta, Chief Operating Officer, Diagnostic Services, Shared Health. “Staff and clinicians from the region came together to provide important assistance to our Transfusion Medicine department by reviewing and testing changes to optimize this process for all of Manitoba. Being named the first region in Canada to receive the Using Blood Wisely designation is an exciting testament to their commitment to transfusion stewardship.”

When every drop counts, it takes a concerted effort to safeguard Canada’s blood supply. Choosing Wisely Canada and Canadian Blood Services would like to thank participating hospitals for their pursuit of best practices in transfusion medicine and collective efforts to deliver safe, quality, and appropriate care.

Health Science Centre Winnipeg and Grace Hospital become first hospitals to receive national Using Blood Wisely Designation.

As a vital and lifesaving resource, protecting Canada’s blood supply has never been more important due to the urgent care needs and constraints related to COVID-19.

That’s why over 120 hospitals are participating in the Using Blood Wisely campaign, a national initiative to reduce inappropriate red blood cell transfusions. This campaign challenges hospitals to conduct a spot audit of recent red blood cell transfusion to see how they compare to national appropriateness benchmarks.

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Only a few months following the official launch of the national campaign, two Manitoba Hospitals have achieved the Using Blood Wisely Designation. Health Sciences Centre (HSC) is the largest hospital in Manitoba and is the provincial tertiary care centre, serving patients from Manitoba, Northwestern Ontario and Nunavut. The Grace Hospital is a 251–bed facility that supports patients from all areas of Winnipeg and surrounding communities. Both hospitals are recognized for their significant achievements in meeting national appropriateness benchmarks for reducing inappropriate red blood cell transfusions.

“These designations are an exciting achievement for all levels of health care, from leadership to front line staff, says Dr. Charles Musuka, Medical Director, Transfusion Medicine, Shared Health. “We are so grateful for the hard work and dedication of all clinical and laboratory staff in Manitoba. This is a testament to their commitment to providing the best possible care for patients and best practices in Manitoba.”

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HSC and Grace Hospital accelerated efforts with the campaign in response to anticipated blood shortages in the province. With support from the Shared Health Transfusion Medicine Program, Best Blood Manitoba, and Choosing Wisely Manitoba, the hospitals teamed up to implement their first transfusion stewardship project – Appropriate Inpatient Red Blood Cell Utilization in Manitoba. This provincial clinical practice change implemented a new set of guidelines that optimizes laboratory and clinical processes to assess the appropriateness of each unit transfused in the inpatient setting.

HSC and Grace Hospital are the first sites to achieve the designation in Canada, and more Manitoba hospitals are in the process of applying.

“We would like to congratulate all clinical and laboratory staff from Health Sciences Centre and Grace Hospital that made this a success. Their dedication and hard work have made these designations possible for Manitoba.” Petr Kresta, Chief Operating Officer, Diagnostic Services, Shared Health.

When every drop counts, it takes a concerted effort to safeguard Canada’s blood supply. Choosing Wisely Canada and Canadian Blood Services would like to thank participating hospitals for their pursuit of best practices in transfusion medicine and collective efforts to deliver safe, quality, and appropriate care.

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In recognition of their excellent work towards implementing resource stewardship projects in Manitoba, the Transfusion Stewardship Team has been named Choosing Wisely Manitoba’s newest Champions.

Learn more about the team and their projects here.

Congratulations to Choosing Wisely Manitoba Champion Dr. Alex Singer & colleagues on their new piece in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice.

Read What the COVID-19 Pandemic Can Teach Us About Resource Stewardship and Quality in Health Care here.

The COVID-19 pandemic presents an unprecedented challenge to the capacity of health care systems and providers around the world. Now, more than ever, stewardship of limited resources is critical.

In response, this list was developed to raise awareness about the need to use limited health care resources wisely.

Visit the Choosing Wisely Canada website for the full list of recommendations.

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