Halton Healthcare Receives Using Blood Wisely Hospital Designation

March 1, 2024

OAKVILLE, ON - Halton Healthcare’s Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital (OTMH) has received the Using Blood Wisely (UBW) Hospital designation from Choosing Wisely Canada and Canadian Blood Services. This national achievement recognizes Halton Healthcare’s commitment to red blood cell stewardship and continuous quality improvement.

Using Blood Wisely is a national program that aims to preserve the Canadian blood supply for patients most in need of transfusion. The program uses scientific evidence to guide when and how red blood cell transfusions should be used. 

“The Laboratory plays a key role in supporting physicians in using blood products as efficiently and effectively as possible. The Using Blood Wisely Hospital designation requires hospitals to reach certain standards developed by a national steering committee and is based on literature reviews and prior quality improvement studies,” explains Shairoz Kherani, Director of Laboratory Services and Diagnostic Imaging at Halton Healthcare. “Working together, Laboratory staff conducted spot audits, performed prospective screening on orders and helped provide education for other healthcare professionals. I am incredibly proud of the teamwork that went into being recognized as a Using Blood Wisely Hospital.”

"Red blood cell (RBC) transfusions are a lifesaving but limited healthcare resource that must be used carefully. Appropriate use of RBC transfusions reduces the risks of transfusion reactions for our patients. At a health system level, overuse of RBC transfusions jeopardizes patient access to blood transfusions, and strains limited Laboratory, health, human and financial resources," explains Dr. Anum Haroon and Dr. Pearl Lau, Physician Leads on Halton Healthcare’s Using Blood Wisely initiative.

“This achievement is the result of collaboration between multidisciplinary teams including physician champions and Laboratory, Professional Practice and Performance Analytics staff members,” concludes Hilary Rodrigues, Senior Vice President, Corporate Services, Performance and Chief Financial Officer at Halton Healthcare. “Our organization is committed to fostering a culture of continuous quality improvement. It’s great to see people bring forward initiatives, such as Using Blood Wisely that support patient safety and enhance the patient experience. Congratulations to the entire team for achieving this designation.”

Halton Healthcare’s Laboratory also received recognition for taking part in Choosing Wisely Canada’s Using Labs Wisely program. This program aims to improve laboratory use by implementing quality improvement projects to reduce low value testing which leads to unnecessary interventions and potential harm to the patient.