This study is a classical example of process reengineering, very appropriately applied to platelet production and distribution to hospitals. The latter is a key element of the blood transfusion chain characterized by high costs and limited supply of a human biological product with short shelf life. The authors goal was to minimize the rate of platelets outdate without significantly increasing shortages. The reengineered platelet distribution chain resulted in an outdate decreasing from 19% to 9% and a cost reduction of more than US$ 500,000. Besides the findings specifically related to platelet transfusion, this study is important for the methodological approach, which could be applied in different settings to other critical areas of transfusion medicine.
– Paolo Rebulla