Change for the Better

August 30, 2013

There has been a whole lot of talk about change lately – nationally, locally, and even personally, change has been a common subject of conversation. Our national healthcare system is embarking on some of the most drastic changes in history. Lately, my Facebook page has been filled with endless posts of what may be considered…

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Why do we do What we do?

August 23, 2013

Yes, I know the primary reason that we “do what we do” is to help connect donors and patients by providing life-saving blood products. In this case, I’m asking a less meaningful, but in some ways perhaps more provocative, question – How are blood centers organized and will that organizational structure allow us to continue…

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America's Blood Centers: Power in Numbers

August 16, 2013

You may already be aware, either by attending or hearing about it, that America’s Blood Centers just completed a very successful Summer Meeting (formerly the Interim Meeting). The meeting provided a great opportunity to reconnect with old friends while also making new ones. The BloodCenter of Wisconsin was the perfect host, even providing fantastic weather.…

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Three Kinds of Lies: Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics

August 2, 2013

Two recent reports appeared separately in the ABCNewsletter. The Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP) Statistical Brief,#149 from the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality ( lists transfusion as the most frequent procedure performed in US hospitals during 2010, while the 2011 National Blood Collection and Utilization Survey (NBCUS) ( shows significant decreases in…

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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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