Pre-screening clinic provides double the benefits

A female nurse and two men, one dressed in scrubs, stand beside medical equipment
: L – R Clinical Nurse Consultant Kylie Symons , UWA Adjunct Research Fellow Kevin Trentino and FSH Consultant Anaesthetist Dr Hamish Mace
September 17, 2020

A ground breaking study has found pre-screening of patients' blood through a specialised clinic set up at Fiona Stanley Hospital (FSH) is improving post-surgery outcomes and reducing hospital admission costs.

FSH clinicians, in collaboration with researchers from the University of Western Australia, examined for the first time both the clinical and economic impacts of pre-screening clinics to determine if patients awaiting surgery had anaemia or low iron stores.

FSH Consultant Anaesthetist Dr Hamish Mace said around 30 per cent of the population has anaemia or iron deficiency, which increases the need for patient blood transfusions after surgery, and can lead to complications and longer recovery time.

“As part of the study, we used the clinic to analyse the blood screening results of 441 patients having bowel cancer surgery,” Dr Mace said.

“There have long been financial concerns around setting up pre-screening clinics but through this study we found the benefits of pre-screening far outweighed the costs.”

“This study provides us with the bigger picture, not only is it patient centred care at its best, but it also has the potential to reduce the burden on the health care system globally.”

This was particularly evident in reduced costs of hospital admission with results showing significant savings of $3776 per patient.

Patients screened as part of the study also received half the amount of red blood cell transfusions.

Kylie Symons has been Patient Blood Management Nurse since the clinic’s implementation.

“It is an honour to be involved in an area of healthcare where improving the pre-surgical management of individual patients has also resulted in a reduction of hospital costs,” Kylie said.

You can read more about the research, which was published late last month, in the world renowned Anaesthesia journal (external link).

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