Journal of Pathology Informatics Journal of Pathology Informatics
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REVIEW ARTICLE
Year : 2011  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 3

Contemporary issues in transfusion medicine informatics


1 Division of Pathology Informatics, Department of Pathology, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
2 Division of Transfusion Medicine, Department of Pathology, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
3 National Headquarters, American Red Cross, Washington D.C., USA

Correspondence Address:
Liron Pantanowitz
Division of Pathology Informatics, Department of Pathology, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
USA
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/2153-3539.74961

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The Transfusion Medicine Service (TMS) covers diverse clinical and laboratory-based services that must be delivered with accuracy, efficiency and reliability. TMS oversight is shared by multiple regulatory agencies that cover product manufacturing and validation standards geared toward patient safety. These demands present significant informatics challenges. Over the past few decades, TMS information systems have improved to better handle blood product manufacturing, inventory, delivery, tracking and documentation. Audit trails and access to electronic databases have greatly facilitated product traceability and biovigilance efforts. Modern blood bank computing has enabled novel applications such as the electronic crossmatch, kiosk-based blood product delivery systems, and self-administered computerized blood donor interview and eligibility determination. With increasing use of barcoding technology, there has been a marked improvement in patient and specimen identification. Moreover, the emergence of national and international labeling standards such as ISBT 128 have facilitated the availability, movement and tracking of blood products across national and international boundaries. TMS has only recently begun to leverage the electronic medical record to address quality issues in transfusion practice and promote standardized documentation within institutions. With improved technology, future growth is expected in blood bank automation and product labeling with applications such as radio frequency identification devices. This article reviews several of these key informatics issues relevant to the contemporary practice of TMS.


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