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.

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.”

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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