Hospitals Overspending on Blood Transfusions

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media , October 9, 2012

Premier is expected to announce its findings in a press briefing in New York Tuesday.

"Blood utilization represents the eighth highest savings opportunity for hospitals, a savings of about $1.06 million per hospital per year," Premier says.

The Premier analysis, which the organization says is unique, found that the biggest savings were found in patients with septicemia, followed closely by those undergoing major joint replacement or reattachment surgeries, those having cardiac valve and other major cardiac procedures, and patients with infections.

To a lesser extent, blood use could be avoided in patients who were being treated for gastrointestinal hemorrhage, and infections.

Different Set of Protocols

Five years ago, Bon Secours Healthcare System, based in Marriottsville, MD, realized it might be spending too much on blood products after comparing its use and cost with that of other hospitals in the Premier system.

Drilling down, it explored transfusion practices just among 12 heart surgeons, who practice at Bon Secours hospitals in New York, Kentucky, Maryland, South Carolina, and Virginia.

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