Canadian Blood Services
Department of Industrial Engineering – Dalhousie University
- Doctor of Philosophy in Industrial Engineering, University of Toronto
- Bachelor of Applied Sciences in Industrial Engineering, University of Toronto
Dalhousie University – Industrial Engineering
PO Box # 15000
Halifax, NS, Canada B3H 4R2
Applying Operational Research Techniques to Healthcare
Our research group applies operational research methodologies to address challenges faced by blood operators around the collection, production, inventory and distribution of biologics. The models developed by our group provide insight that allows decision-makers to operate Canada’s blood supply chain at the highest possible levels of efficiency, effectiveness, safety and responsiveness.
From an engineering standpoint, Canadian Blood Services looks like a large biologics manufacturer with a multi-echelon supply chain. This supply chain stretches over a wide geographic area and includes collection, production, inventory and distribution processes. Our research focuses on methods to optimize the management structures Canadian Blood Services uses to run its business.
In the Collection area, our group is developing models to optimize the staffing that is required at Canadian Blood Services’ blood collection sites to optimize the donor experience while maximizing efficiency.
- Blake JT, Shimla S: Determining staffing requirements for blood donor clinics: the Canadian Blood Services experience. Transfusion 2014; 54:814–820.
- Páez A, Esita J, Newbold KB, Heddle NM, Blake JT: Exploring resource allocation and alternate clinic accessibility landscapes for improved blood donor turnout. Appl Geogr 2013; 45:89–97.
Production and Distribution
In the Production and Distribution areas, our group has developed a generic modelling framework to support Canadian Blood Services in its consolidation plans. In recent years, Canadian Blood Services has consolidated its blood production and testing centres, a plan that necessitated changes in the transportation network between the production sites and hospitals. Our group evaluated consolidation plans for the Maritimes and the Prairies, to determine its effect on product availability in hospitals. We have recently expanded the framework to allow an entire national distribution network to be simulated.
- Blake J, Hardy M: Using simulation to evaluate a blood supply network in the Canadian maritime provinces. Journal of Enterprise Information Management 2013; 26:119–134.
- Blake J, Rogerson M, Harris D: Evaluating health care policy decisions: Canadian Blood Services in Atlantic Canada in Operations Research and Health Care Policy 2013; Publisher: Springer New York.
- Blake JT: ResearchUnit: How does consolidation of blood production and distribution services impact hospitals? 2013; Blood.ca website.
In the Inventory area, our group has investigated challenges related to the management of blood product inventory such as the impact a change in red blood cell (RBC) shelf-life would have on RBC inventory and the factors involved in platelet inventory and ordering.
- Blake JT, Hardy M: Evaluating the impact of a shorter shelf life for red blood cells with a generic simulation. IIE Annual Conference Proceedings 2014; 361-370.
- Blake J, Hardy M: A generic modelling framework to evaluate network blood management policies: The Canadian Blood Services experience. Operations Research for Health Care 2014; 3:116–128.
- Blake JT, Hardy M, Delage G, Myhal G: Déjà-vu all over again: using simulation to evaluate the impact of shorter shelf life for red blood cells at Héma-Québec. Transfusion 2013; 53:1544–1558.
- Blake JT. ResearchUnit: What if the shelf-life of red blood cells was less than 42 days? 2013; Blood.ca website.
- Blake JT: On the use of Operational Research for managing platelet inventory and ordering. Transfusion 2009; 49:396–401.
Click to see Leadership Roles
|2014 - Current||Member, Blood Shortage Working Group|
|2014 - Current||Chair, Atlantic Section, Canadian Operational Research Society|
|2012 - 2014||Chair, Health Care Special Interest Group, National Advisory Council on Blood|
|2002||Service Award for outstanding contributions of time and service to the Canadian OR Society awarded by the Canadian Operational Research Society|
|1994||Canadian Operational Research Society Practice Prize for outstanding contributions to the practice of operational research awarded by the Canadian Operational Research Society|
For general enquiries about research at Canadian Blood Services, please contact us at:
Centre for Innovation
Canadian Blood Services
1800 Alta Vista Drive
Ottawa, Ontario K1G 4J5