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Community Blood Bank Streamlines Processes With Cybernet

Based in Bakersfield, California, Houchin Community Blood Bank has saved countless lives through blood donations and a commitment to the community they service. Since their establishment in 1951, the facility has accepted donations both at their fixed locations and mobily by way of their fleet of portable, phlebotomy-equipped buses. Through blood drives they help organize with generous local businesses and organizations, they continue to make saving lives a community effort.

Challenge Icon Challenge

In January of 2019, Houchin Community Blood Bank had decided to upgrade their blood bank computer system (BBCS). Naturally, this had resulted in talks of new workstations and patient data gathering hardware for their team of phlebotomists who would be tasked with using the new, more efficient systems. Prior to the new system, the team had primarily used paper donor cards to track their donors through the various steps of the blood giving process. Naturally, this manual means of recording data regularly resulted in human error, missing information, and impacted care. The team knew something more digital would help and their switch to a new BBCS was the perfect opportunity to test some new hardware. 

In an effort to streamline their entire workflow, Houchin Community Blood Bank was hoping to find a device that had an integrated barcode scanner so they could scan donor vials after donations to make sure that all data matched up right there on site. 

Being able to manage every aspect of a patient’s journey from registration, to taking vital signs, through the donation process from one device was paramount. Making sure the device was rugged enough to withstand daily wear and tear in their mobile donation buses, as well as at their multiple physical locations, was going to be another challenge that needed to be met. 

Solution Icon Solution

The team at Houchin initially tested Zebra scanners, but quickly realized that the screens on their handheld devices were far too small for their new software, making it nearly impossible for their phlebotomists to use. A Google search led them to Cybernet, and the team decided to test the Cybernet Rugged X10 Tablet. It became immediately apparent that the X10 tablet had a large enough screen size to properly display their new BBCS software. Just as important, however, was the integrated barcode scanner built right into the handle of the X10 that allowed phlebotomists to scan donor vials to check for accuracy right there on the spot. 

What had really set Cybernet’s solution apart, however, was its hot swap battery functionality. Houchin’s new BBCS software had a particularly annoying feature that locked phlebotomists out of a donor’s account if the device it was running on ever went into sleep mode (which would normally occur after only 10 minutes of inactivity). Thankfully, the Rugged X10’s impressive battery life and the fact that its batteries could be swapped without being powered off meant the team could override the tablet’s sleep settings, allowing for seamless all-day functionality. 

Rounding everything out was The Rugged X10’s shock, vibration, and drop tested design, and Houchin knew they had found the perfect device. 

Results Icon Results

Having been deployed for the better part of a year over at Houchin’s fixed and portable phlebotomy stations, the new workstations have yet to receive any negative feedback from the team. In fact, the only feedback received from the phlebotomists was that they wanted more tablets. The device’s portability and scanning capabilities have made recording donor notes a breeze and notably less impacted by manual note taking errors. Instead of scribing donor information on a physical card, the team is now able to simply scan in the donor’s blood vial, populate the information into their new BBCS software, and quickly send it off to the lab in order to confirm all the information that has been recorded was done so accurately.

The team has already deployed the devices across their fleet of phlebotomy buses and even carries 6 backup units on the off chance that one suffers a breakdown. To this day, the team has yet to reach out to Cybernet support regarding any issues and even plans to purchase more of the units as funding for more phlebotomy buses becomes available.   

The only thing the phlebotomists and the nurses have requested is that we have more of them. They’re on our mobiles, they’re on our fixed sites, they’re everywhere we have phlebotomists working because it’s just so easy for them to be able to carry it around and use it.

- Dane Nelson, IT Director