Electronic blood management systems for blood transfusions

Health Technology Wales
Record ID 32018002693
Authors' objectives: We searched for evidence that could be used to answer the review question: What is the clinical and cost effectiveness of electronic blood management systems (EBMS) compared to standard methods of blood management? For the purposes of this appraisal, EBMS describes any electronic system used to check and/or verify identification of patients, blood samples, or blood units at any stage of the transfusion process.
Authors' results and conclusions: We identified ten studies comparing the effectiveness of EBMS to alternative blood tracking and verification processes during transfusions. There is some evidence to suggest that EBMS is associated with lower rates of incorrect transfusions, ‘wrong blood in tube’ errors, sample rejection and blood wastage. However, many of the studies did not report any statistical measures of effect sizes, and for some outcomes events rates are very low, meaning it is difficult to accurately quantify the possible benefits of EBMS. Potential risks of bias within the included studies also reduces the certainty of the evidence. No health economic studies were included in the literature review. We developed a cost analysis, from the Welsh NHS perspective, which compared EBMS with a paper-based system, based on estimates of staff resource use to which the unit costs staff time were applied. The base case results of the cost analysis estimated that EBMS could save £0.32 per person in the first year and £19.93 per person in each subsequent year compared with a paper-based system. The results are sensitive to changes in the population size and in staff time using EBMS.
Authors' recommendations: The evidence supports the routine adoption of EBMS to support blood transfusions. Compared with paper-based systems, EBMS reduces rates of sample rejection and blood wastage. A cost analysis estimates that the use of EBMS would lead to cost savings of £0.32 per person receiving a blood transfusion in the first year and £19.92 per person in subsequent years compared with a paper-based system. If applied to all people receiving blood transfusions in NHS Wales, it is estimated that there would be savings of £1.9 million over a two year period.
Authors' methods: The Evidence Appraisal Report is based on a literature search (strategy available on request) for published clinical and economic evidence on the health technology of interest. It is not a full systematic review but aims to identify the best available evidence on the health technology of interest. Researchers critically evaluate and synthesise this evidence. We include the following clinical evidence in order of priority: systematic reviews; randomised trials; non-randomised trials. We only include evidence for “lower priority” evidence where outcomes are not reported by a “higher priority” source. We also search for economic evaluations or original research that can form the basis of an assessment of costs/cost comparison. We carry out various levels of economic evaluation, according to the evidence that is available to inform this.
Project Status: Completed
Year Published: 2022
English language abstract: An English language summary is available
Publication Type: Rapid Review
Country: Wales, United Kingdom
MeSH Terms
  • Blood Transfusion
  • Transfusion Medicine
  • Blood Specimen Collection
  • Patient Identification Systems
  • Automation
  • Software
  • Costs and Cost Analysis
  • Blood transfusion
  • Blood management systems
  • Patient safety
Organisation Name: Health Technology Wales
Contact Address: Life Sciences Hub Wales 3 Assembly Square Cardiff CF10 4PL
Contact Name: Susan Myles, PhD
Contact Email: healthtechnology@wales.nhs.uk
Copyright: Health Technology Wales
This is a bibliographic record of a published health technology assessment from a member of INAHTA or other HTA producer. No evaluation of the quality of this assessment has been made for the HTA database.