Remote Audit of Blood Dispensing Fridge Usage using Process Mining
e-Health ePoster Library. Cheng C. Jun 5, 2017; 167121; EP03.04
Dr. Calvino Cheng
Dr. Calvino Cheng
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Purpose/Objectives: Audits are important to monitor the ongoing quality and efficiency of transfusion service processes. Typically, audits combine manual observation and laboratory information system generated data to derive conclusions of how a process is performing, and suggest recommendations on its improvement. The centralization of transfusion services introduces more challenges in auditing, especially if transfusion services are distributed over significant geography and if there are limited human resources available. We describe a novel use of process mining, recently adapted for use in financial auditing, to further characterize an automated red cell unit dispensing fridge which was being suboptimally used at our institution.

Methodology/Approach: Red blood cell unit transaction data and attributes from October 1, 2013 to September 30, 2015 from the laboratory information system of a large distributed multisite transfusion service in Eastern Canada (Nova Scotia Health Authority, Central Zone) were queried, preprocessed, and process maps were created. Subject matter experts were asked to create a process map of their perception of the blood fridge process. Subsequently, blood fridge maps were displayed for real-time exploration, and comments were collected and thematically analysed.

Finding/Results: There were 2302 unique red cell units which encountered the VG-Hemosafe inventory destination. There were 1597 different variants, each representing a different unique sequence of pathway activities that a red cell unit could take from receipt to final disposition. The manually created process map at simple unidirectional flows, while the process mining derived map demonstrated complex looping, though the inventory receipt process was common between both types of maps. The process maps were relevant and valid, and comments were grounded on insight and process confirmation. The exercise also resulted in policy changes and gave us insight and impetus to re-initiate discussion with the manufacturer.

Conclusion/Implication/Recommendations: We demonstrate a novel use of process mining to enhance our transfusion services understanding of how our institution was using an automated remote blood dispensing fridge without the need for any manual auditing. We demonstrate that process mining allows for significant intelligent discussion and reflection on this process, and this technique could be applied to other processes..

140 Character Summary: Process mining can be applied to further understand the functioning of transfusion services and enhance inventory management.
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