Establishment of a blood bank information system to bridge the gap between demand and supply of blood in Coast Province: the case study of Regional blood transfusion centre-Mombasa
Wahome, Dorcas W
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The population structure in coast province is currently growing, with increasing demand of blood, approximately 25,000 units of blood are required annually. The gap between demand and supply has been growing. In 2007-2009 a total collection of blood units stood at 41,490 with discards of approximately 3,624 the demand for the same years was 71,019 units of blood. A total of 1930 could not be accounted for this is due to lack of automated systems to monitor the cause of this wastage, the minimum stock levels in hospital blood banks before issuing more blood, lack of a system to track down every unit of blood and lack of monitoring the utilization of blood in hospitals. The mode of data storage and retrieval is manual therefore slow customer service. The main objectives of this research was to find out how lack of a blood bank information system has contributed to widening the gap between demand and supply and also how operations and coordination within the blood centre and hospitals have been affected due to lack of an information system. The study was guided by two research questions that were used to show how lack of a blood bank information system contributed to shortage and wastage of blood in coast province and how it has affected coordination of blood processing and supply to hospitals. International and local case studies were used to show how systems are used to improve on the collection and also monitor utilization to minimize the wastage while increasing the supply. In Poland implementation of a blood bank information system shortened there required time for processing, accelerated the circulation of information concerning stored blood in the region and alerted donors when due for the next donation. In Macau the use of barcode was implemented to track down blood units. Using the descriptive research design the researcher administered open and closed questionnaires to the respondents who included coast province hospitals that are supplied with blood units and all employees of regional blood transfusion Mombasa. The hospitals were grouped into three categories, public, private and mission then random samples were drawn from each group. Findings of the research reveal that there exists a wide gap between demand and supply of blood in coast province with public hospitals being the highest consumers. In 2007 - 2009 a total of 17,274 units of blood were collected 61 % were issued to the public hospitals and 21 % of it went to waste due to lack of coordination and efficiency in hospitals blood banks and the regional blood transfusion centre. The research also showed that computer literacy level among employees of regional blood transfusion centre is below 50% therefore thorough training need to be carried out before implementation of an information system. In conclusion lack of a blood bank information system has contributed greatly to widening the gap between demand and supply of blood in coast province as outlined in this document. Some blood units are not accounted for in some stages of processing, no supervision or monitoring of blood utilization is conducted in hospitals and it is difficult to manually track down blood units up to infusion. The government through its Ministries should design computer training programs and encourage institutions to embrace technology as a way of achieving the millennium development goal number eight 'Develop a global partnership for development'.