To Shape the Future, Get Involved

July 26, 2013

Earlier this week, the Department of Health and Human Services published the 2011 National Blood Collection and Utilization Survey (NBCUS) Report. The results will come as no surprise to blood bankers: blood collections are down, driven by the decrease in demand and perhaps the increase in patient blood management strategies. Overall, there has been about…

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What on Earth do Railroads Have to do with Blood Banking?

July 19, 2013

I admit I was a bit skeptical when I learned that ABC’s Meetings Committee had arranged to have Mark Fagan from Harvard deliver a two hour presentation on how the railroad industry offers us insights into our unprecedented environmental challenges. After all, what do railroads have in common with blood banks? Following the truly dynamic…

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Let Our Past be Our Rock for the Future

July 12, 2013

Sometimes when you seem overwhelmed by the challenges of the future, it is comforting to look back at the past. Not that the challenges of the past were less daunting, but knowing that we met those challenges and survived brings peace of mind. When I first came to the Community Blood Center in Kansas City…

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The Perfect Sunny Day?

June 28, 2013

There’s the proverbial expression of what happens when many bad variables converge to bring us a “perfect storm.” I wondered recently what we might call it if industry, regulatory, and economic factors all became aligned after decades of discussion to finally bring us pathogen reduction (PR) for US blood products. Were that to happen, might…

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Risk-Based Decision Making: More Questions than Answers?

June 21, 2013

There is international consensus that risk-based decision making’s time has come to the blood community1. Diverse groups including, the Alliance of Blood Operators (an international group of national blood systems), and more recently, the Food and Drug Administration endorse it as the appropriate framework for creating transfusion safety policies. It’s hard to argue otherwise. In…

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Help Us Help You

June 14, 2013

Last year, America’s Blood Centers conducted its SEQuaLS member satisfaction survey, where ABC member blood centers could pose questions to both ABC and the Foundation for America’s Blood Centers staff. One member asked, “Is there a way to make more grants available to member centers?” To provide the short answer – yes, the FABC is…

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My Crystal Ball is Hazy

June 7, 2013

Either the strategic drivers shaping the blood community’s environment are at an all time high of flux, or I am suffering from bilateral uveitis – perhaps it is both. Regardless, my crystal ball has never been less clear.  I had the honor of chairing America’s Blood Centers’ Strategic Business Intelligence Task Force in 2005. The…

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What Happened to the “I” ?

May 31, 2013

The acronym for America’s Blood Centers’ “core values,” IDEA, represents Innovation, Data Integration and Benchmarking, Education and Networking, and Advocacy. Although these values are not unique in themselves, they become powerful tools for ABC to serve its members. These tools are where the knowledge and leverage ofalloutweigh that ofone. Over the last couple of months,…

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You Ought to Tell the Donor That

May 24, 2013

A young man donated double red cells at our center about a week before running a marathon; not surprisingly, his performance was awful, and he was angry with us. We didn’t know he was planning to run, and he didn’t know that donating would hurt his performance. After we explained, he calmed down, and said,…

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Advocacy Works – Sometimes More Quickly than Other Times

May 17, 2013

One year ago, an ABC member blood center applied for a variance from Food and Drug Administration labeling regulations requiring results on red blood cell (RBC) labels to be from samples collected “at the time of filling the … blood container” and “on a specimen taken … at the time of collection.” The center requested permission…

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