Blood Transfusion - 3 2017 (May - June)
Quality indicators for Transfusion Medicine in Spain: a survey among hospital transfusion services
Authors:  Iñigo Romon, Miguel Lozano
Pages:  207-214
To cite this article:  Blood Transfus 2017; 15: 207-14
Doi:  10.2450/2016.0018-16
Published online:  21/07/2016

Transfusion services in the European Union must implement quality management systems to improve quality. Quality indicators (QI) play a key role in quality management because they can supply important information about the performance of the transfusion service, which can then be used for benchmarking. However, little is known about the actual use of QI in hospitals. We tried to ascertain the use and characteristics of QI in Spanish hospital transfusion services.
Materials and methods. We performed a survey among transfusion services in order to learn which QI they use. We classified indicators into categories and concepts, according to the steps of the transfusion process or the activities the indicators referred to.
Results. Seventy-six hospitals (17.9% of the hospitals actively transfusing in the country) reported 731 QI. Twenty-two of them (29%) were tertiary level hospitals. The number of indicators per hospital and by activity varied greatly. QI were assigned to some basic categories: transfusion process (23% of indicators), transfusion activity and stock management (22%), haemovigilance (20%), stem cell transplantation (9%), transfusion laboratory (9%), quality management system (8%), blood donation (3.4%), apheresis and therapeutic activities (2.5%) and immunohaematology of pregnancy (2%). 
Discussion. Although most hospitals use QI in their quality management system and share a core group of indicators, we found a great dispersion in the number and characteristics of the indicators used. The use of a commonly agreed set of QI could be an aid to benchmarking among hospitals and to improving the transfusion process. 

Keywords: quality indicator, transfusion, transfusion service, benchmarking, quality management.
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