Another focus for the John Hunter Hospital laboratory in keeping their wastage levels low is concentrating on the age of their inventory and the ways that the stock can be utilised prior to expiry. To this end, NSW Health Pathology – North (Hunter) has a policy of stock rotation between the John Hunter Hospital laboratory and their satellite laboratories. Adopting this practice has enabled them to reduce the age of transfusion while maintaining the low wastage rates of red blood cells, at around 0.1% of stock issued.
To ensure products are utilised before expiry, stock is carefully monitored and rotated between the core laboratory at John Hunter Hospital and the satellite laboratories. This is achieved by:
- careful review of satellite laboratory inventory in eBlood and request for return of stock older than 21 days to the John Hunter Hospital laboratory
- replacement of older stock in satellite laboratories with more recently delivery products from Lifeblood
A delicate balance is managed by the scientists at the John Hunter Hospital laboratory to ensure that both the satellite laboratories and the John Hunter Hospital laboratory themselves have both an adequate number of products and that inventory is of appropriate age. This balance is important to maintain to ensure that the product is available for the clinical use that it is required for, while maintaining a low wastage rate and ensuring the optimal utilisation of a precious product.
Careful attention is paid to the cold chain requirements and stock is only accepted back into the John Hunter Hospital laboratory if the cold chain can be verified.
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