Blood Centers of America Uses Logi Info to Track Critical Blood Products
Blood Centers of American created dashboards and scorecards with Logi Info to monitor blood supply key performance indicators.
Blood Centers of America, Inc., (BCA) is a cooperative venture whose members are community blood centers across the United States. The BCA cooperative supports 36 member blood centers that provide 35 percent of the nation’s transfusion requirements. BCA’s focus is on improving the operations and business activities of the member blood centers.
BCA initially had a critical need for a benchmarking dashboard to share operational metrics and allow centers to learn from and exchange critical information with each other. The availability of blood products can vary greatly throughout the country, and BCA members needed a means for sharing information in order to ensure a timely and adequate supply. Creation of a database of excesses and needs was previously a manual process. Member blood centers would submit their information on a daily basis by phone call, fax, or email. A BCA employee had to then build a spreadsheet, which required up to three to four hours per day.
Logi Info saved us about half a full-time employee’s work with the excesses and needs component alone.
BCA evaluated various BI solutions and found problems with some being too static or charging per user fees, which was incompatible with their business needs. The organization chose Logi Info due to ease of use and flexible functionality.
Combining Disparate Data Sources
Greg Bishop, Director of Information Services at BCA, used Logi Info to create an executive benchmarking dashboard which allows centers to evaluate key performance indicators against others centers.
Members participate in the dashboard by submitting a variety of data such as operational, payroll, and labor-hours. The data is collected via web form and external survey. With the data combined into a dashboard, it provides critical insight, enabling centers to learn from each other.
Mr. Bishop, working independently and using Logi Info for the front end and SQL on the back end, was able to complete a working prototype in just two weeks. Only another 20 hours was required for testing and refining to complete the project.
“Not being a web developer, I would have struggled with database connections and functions, such as tying submit buttons to SQL server. But Logi Info was very easy to use, and it was great having elements to drop in and great having a user interface out of the box. The dashboard was particularly easy to put together and it is helpful for our members to have a very quickly-understood visual presentation of our data,” said Mr. Bishop.
Excesses & Needs System
To facilitate the transfer of blood products, each center can enter data into the system, enabling members to easily see shortages and excess inventories of particular blood products. Blood product needs are automatically emailed to all centers. Users can also drill through to view more details. To initiate a purchase, a center need only click a listing, complete the form including entering quantities desired, and submit.
Upon submission, the blood available for sale is decremented and an email is automatically sent to the offering center, which can then accept or deny the purchase offer. To prevent inefficiencies caused by waiting, offers expire in one hour.
“Logi saved us about half a full-time employee’s work with the excesses and needs component alone,” stated Mr. Bishop.
“Of course when dealing with a critical product like human blood, security is a major concern. The capacity of Logi Info to offer role-based security is an outstanding feature, enabling us to centrally assign permissions restricting user access to only the reports that relate to their functions at their center.
“Also, the elemental design approach enables a single report to be customized for several people, resulting in excellent productivity.
“We have demonstrated our dashboard interface to non-BCA center colleagues and they were very impressed; so much so that we developed an agreement that the entire national network of centers can be granted access to the interface in the event of a catastrophe like Hurricane Katrina or a terrorist incident,” said Mr. Bishop.
Another reason BCA chose Logi Info was the product flexibility, enabling BCA to do a wide variety of additional things. Those capabilities that BCA developed with Logi Info include discussion forums, a map of all blood centers with drill through capabilities to view contact info, the ability to export reports to Excel or PDF, as well as dashboards for vendors to view operational metrics on their own products.
“We have now been using Logi Info for nearly six years and have been very pleased with the support we get from Logi Analytics. I have been particularly pleased with the rate at which Logi Analytics innovates and releases exciting new functionality,” concluded Mr. Bishop.