Value-Added Services

September 27, 2013

I dislike the term “value-added.” I realize why the term exists and the importance of differentiating between delivering blood products and providing a comprehensive service approach to support hospitals. I just think the phrase somehow minimizes the very essence of the vital services that are often called “value-added.” You will find an article in this…

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Leveraging Talents for Success

September 20, 2013

As this Newsletter goes to print, America’s Blood Centers’ 12th bi-annual Financial Management Workshop will coming to a close. It is amazing how far this workshop has progressed since 1990 when a group of accountants, including me, decided that blood center financial professionals needed an opportunity to come together and share ideas. At this year’s…

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Jason and the Algorithms

September 13, 2013

I distinctly recall my aunt and uncle taking my cousins and me to a drive-in theater back in 1963 to see that year’s big special-effects film, “Jason and the Argonauts.” Based on Greek mythology, the hero Jason stood before Zeus and Hera in the heavenly Olympus and received direct guidance about how he might find…

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“Star Wars” or Looking for Trouble?

September 6, 2013

I always told my kids to be careful turning over rocks – there might be a scorpion there to sting them. The warning came from my clinical experience, watching colleagues test patients for infections that you could tell they did not have after talking to the patient, and coming up with false positive tests to…

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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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