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Canadian Blood Services to expand implementation of Donor Care Associate Clinic Model

Health Canada has granted Canadian Blood Services’ request to remove licencing conditions mandated as part of the pilot of the Donor Care Associate model. The removal of conditions allows Canadian Blood Services to move forward with plans to implement new clinic roles as part of our strategy to better align skills and knowledge of staff to the requirements of the clinic functions. The Health Canada decision was made on November 6, 2012.

Safety is of utmost importance to Canadian Blood Services, and this change does not put Canada's blood supply at risk. Safety is addressed throughout the entire donation process, in addition to testing and production of blood and blood products. Also, all blood donations are tested for known pathogens that already have tests in place.

Over the past two years, we have been piloting and auditing a clinic model already in use by other blood operators in the UK and USA. This model is one where all clinic functions, including phlebotomy and donor screening, are performed by a multi-skilled clinic employee, and not an RN. The pilot analysis of over 20,000 donors showed that there was no compromise of safety through the screening of donors with trained individuals other than an RN.

The Donor Care Associate clinic model reflects a commitment to align the right skills with the right functions in the organization while ensuring the safety of blood and blood products. That means a new role for nurses as Nurse Consultants. Nurses will play a pivotal role in promoting safety in the clinic environment, be involved in resolving more complex donor eligibility situations encountered in our clinics and provide leadership, coaching and mentoring for Donor Care Associates. The clinic model will also feature the new multi-skilled Donor Care Associate trained to perform all clinic roles, including donor screening, phlebotomy, and venepuncture as required. This creates a flexible work environment capable of responding to donor needs at all stations. It will enhance our ability to more effectively reduce wait times in-clinic by having employees move to where donors are waiting.

As we implement our new clinic model and roles, we will continue to monitor all aspects through strict auditing measures, along with the current safety measures already in place at Canadian Blood Services.

Thank you again for your sincere commitment to Canada's blood supply system.

Marc Plante
Canadian Blood Services
Office: (613) 739-2322
Cell: 613-407-2446

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