Anne Burkey, a Patient Blood Management Coordinator, St. Luke’s Health System in Boise, ID

“Expecting the unexpected is our most important role in Patient Blood Management” – Anne Burkey

Two years ago, Luke’s Health System based in Boise, ID had a critical decision to make. Would they be the area’s Pediatric Trauma provider? With a great community need mounting, they decided to proceed.

We spoke with Anne Burkey, a Patient Blood Management Coordinator within Luke’s Health System about the process of expanding a strong Patient Blood Management program to equip a new practice with the blood product needed and preparing for the unexpected, steps that have led St. Luke’s to be prepared for another time of community need just a couple years later.

Phase One: Preparation

Leveraging the ACS TQIP Best Practice Guidelines provides great clarity on the dedicated blood supply needed as well as an evidence based approach for how to acquire the necessary blood product. With a clear understanding of what was needed, St. Luke’s Health System set a process of consistent review and exclusive partnership with the American Red Cross to ensure the necessary product would always be on-site

Phase Two: Launch

In launching the Pediatric Trauma Center, there were many considerations but one that played a particularly important role was the nature of the trauma expected. Being a four-season state, Idaho has traumatic injuries coming in from a very large range of activities making the guidelines and education needed prior to opening critical to best patient outcomes. As everyone in pediatrics understands children are not just small adults, the requirements and needs vary greatly based on age and size. Additionally, our evidence-based approach needed to be accessible at all times through electronic records.

Phase Three: Evaluation

In just the first quarter of 2019, the Pediatric Trauma Center saw nearly the full projected annual patient volume. Re-evaluating the blood product for this unexpected surge in patients was critical. Additionally, re-evaluating provider provisioning and use for O-negative blood and platelets became of particular concern as those are blood products are in greatest demand for this patient population. 

Using blood products ethically, and with a priority on best patient outcomes, is critical at all times – particularly in the times of shortage we face today. The only way to be prepared and accomplish these goals is establishing, and fostering, a successful Patient Blood Management protocols.