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Published on June 30, 2010

Debut of Remote Allocation for blood and components increases patient safety

June 30, 2010 SEATTLE – Puget Sound Blood Center and Overlake Hospital Medical Center have implemented an innovative new process called Remote Allocation for the storage and distribution of blood that will increase patient safety and hospital efficiencies. The new system, developed by Haemonetics Corporation, consists of an automated dispensing refrigerator, the HemoSafe, controlled by sophisticated inventory management software, BloodTrack®, that allows hospitals to quickly and securely access blood and blood components at the point of use. The Blood Center is the first provider of centralized transfusion service in the country to utilize this technology, and Overlake Hospital is the first medical center in the region to go live with its implementation.

Similar to modern manufacturing processes, the new distribution system allows blood to be available in an efficient just-in-time model, instead of preparing, transporting and storing patient specific blood components that may never be transfused. At the hospital, the BloodTrack HemoSafe is stocked with an appropriate inventory of red blood cells and plasma. When a patient requires a transfusion, blood is electronically cross-matched for them by the Blood Center’s system. This automatically assigns the appropriate blood components in the hospital’s HemoSafe to the patient. So, when those components are needed, a trained medical professional with secure access simply inputs the patient’s information into the HemoSafe and the proper component is dispensed. Patient safety is increased because human error is greatly reduced by having the automated technology manage the process while ensuring blood is available instantly, without time required to transport it from the Blood Center to the hospital.

“With the launch of the Remote Allocation process using the BloodTrack HemoSafes, we are fundamentally changing the way we are servicing our hospital partners,” said James P. AuBuchon, president and CEO, MD, FCAP, FRCP (Edin), Puget Sound Blood Center. “This is an important evolutionary – or revolutionary - step, the first fundamental change in a transfusion process that was first established 65 years ago. We hope to roll this concept out to all hospitals in King

County over the next few years. With the BloodTrack HemoSafes stocked daily by Blood Center staff, our hospital partners will now have greater access to blood and blood components when they need them. And the HemoSafe will allow more emergency units to be stored onsite, creating greater efficiencies when treating those in need of trauma care.”

“Overlake’s Blood Bank Coordinator Andrea Nordmark has worked closely with the Blood Center team for more than two years to develop the Remote Allocation project and we’re so pleased to be the first hospital in the region to deploy it,” said Craig Hendrickson, Overlake’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “The HemoSafe-based system gives us faster and easier access to blood when needed for patient care.”

“This has truly been a collaborative effort with Overlake Hospital and Haemonetics to launch this new, secure blood distribution system and I’d like to thank them and congratulate them,” said AuBuchon. “We at the Blood Center look forward to implementing this technology with all of our hospital partners over the next three years. It will increase customer satisfaction and ensure greater patient safety – two things paramount to serving our community.”

Puget Sound Blood Center is an independent, community-based nonprofit organization with a tradition of blending volunteerism, medical science and research to improve patients’ lives. Patients with leukemia, cancer, burns, hemophilia and traumatic injuries depend on Blood Center research. The recognized leader in transfusion medicine, the Blood Center operates the world's largest transfusion service, serves patients in more than 70 hospitals and clinics in 14 Western Washington counties, and provides tissue and transplantation support to 185 hospitals across the Northwest. For more information, please contact Director of Communications Michael Young at 206-292-6589.

Overlake Hospital Medical Center is a nonprofit, non-tax-supported regional medical center. Overlake offers a comprehensive range of services including cardiac care, cancer care, general and specialty surgery, women’s programs, senior care, and the only Level III trauma service on the Eastside. For more information, log on to

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Media Contact: Karen Johnson, 425-688-5177.