Pilot program tracks blood supply at Children’s Hospital

RFID used to monitor inventory

Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin is the site of a pilot program tracking blood bags throughout the hospital, aimed at helping health care professional optimize their available blood supply.


The BloodCenter of Wisconsin and Fresenius Kabi, a German firm with U.S headquarters in Lake Zurich, Illinois, are partnering on the project.

Specialized radio frequency identification (RFID) tags are applied to blood bags before they are sent to hospitals, allowing them to be tracked as they move through the hospital to the point they are used to treat patients. Using RFID allows blood centers and hospitals to quickly share information on inventory.

Children’s Hospital said it is the first pediatric hospital in the country to use RFID tracking in the area of transfusion medicine.

“This innovative approach to tracking our hospital’s blood supply will provide visibility to the location, usage and inventory status of our blood products,” said Dr. Jason Jarzembowski, medical director of the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin laboratory. “We can better manage our blood supply and plan for what is needed – optimizing the use of the life-saving gifts by blood donors.”

Dean Gregory, president, medical devices, for Fresenius Kabi in North America, said the technology, called “CompoTrace” is designed to improve the supply chain.

“Getting the right blood products to the right patient more efficiently helps to reduce costs, which is a critical priority in health care today,” Gregory said.

The pilot program began in October and will conclude this month. Fresenius Kabi is planning similar projects at other hospitals throughout the year.

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Arthur covers banking and finance and the economy at BizTimes while also leading special projects as an associate editor. He also spent five years covering manufacturing at BizTimes. He previously was managing editor at The Waukesha Freeman. He is a graduate of Carroll University and did graduate coursework at Marquette. A native of southeastern Wisconsin, he is also a nationally certified gymnastics judge and enjoys golf on the weekends.

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