Augusta’s Shepeard Community Blood Center First In U.S to use OTIS
“OTIS, short for occurrence tracking information system, facilitates process improvement and regulatory compliance,” said George Behr, president and founder of Nouvation, the company that developed OTIS. The incident management system was first piloted at a “Top 50” hospital in Southern California. “OTIS was developed with strong input from front-line blood-bankers like Sue Mosuch at Shepeard. Shepeard’s input has continued to be invaluable as we introduced OTIS’ latest and truly paperless iteration.”
“One of every seven patients entering a hospital requires blood,” noted SCBC Medical Director James Shikle, MD. “And 21 hospitals in Greater Augusta depend on Shepeard for safe, pure, potent blood and blood products. That’s a big responsibility.
“As a nonprofit operating in a highly regulated environment, we must be relentless in our efforts to optimize quality and efficiency. We needed a comprehensive, easy-to-use incident management system. OTIS was all this and more, and less than one-fifth the cost of comparable solutions. Customer service is exceptional and we recommend OTIS highly to anyone looking to promote process improvement in the blood bank.”
“I first heard about OTIS from Randy German at a 2008 AAAB Conference,” explained Sue Mosuch, RN, a quality assurance specialist and training coordinator who joined Shepeard in 1998. “Randy is the blood bank manager at that Top 50 hospital that piloted OTIS and contributed to its early development. He’s been using it since 2005 and tells anyone who will listen how great it is. I’m so thankful I listened!
“At the time, we sought a better way to manage and resolve deviations. Our paperbound process wasn’t sufficient to please the inspectors. We looked at several vendors–big companies with big complex systems, multiple modules and multiple user license fees. We ultimately chose OTIS. This stand-alone, best-of-breed system impressed us with its ability to enable multiple layers of users to quickly and easily report, track and trend deviations. It also required only one software license for all our users.
“We purchased OTIS in October 2009, implemented it in November–basically, you insert the CD, watch it automatically install, then add users and customize as needed. If you want to call IT, go ahead, but there’s really no need. And it’s so intuitive, training is minimal.
“OTIS is really tops in terms of promoting compliance. We can turn around FDA biological deviation reports in under 48 hours, and impress AABB with OTIS’ ability to help resolve deviations. Before OTIS, our tracking and remediation capabilities were limited. Now, OTIS helps us devise pertinent remediation strategies that focus process improvement where needed. The system comes pre-loaded with FDA biological deviation codes; we added audit and other custom codes that enable us to enter audit reports directly in OTIS and perform other functions.
“OTIS 7 virtually eliminated the need for paper; with 8.0, our conversion to paperless is complete. We can scan Word and PDF documents in their entirety or select pages, with or without a scanner. No more frustrating searches for misplaced documents with an inspector waiting! OTIS truly enables us to do whatever needed ‘to do the right thing’ as blood-bankers.”
Headquartered in Augusta, Ga., the award-winning Shepeard Community Blood Center serves the blood needs of the Central Savannah River area. The nonprofit organization collects approximately 40,000 units of blood annually at its two Georgia donor centers (Augusta and Evans) and a third in Aiken, S.C.–processing them in Augusta. It is contracted to distribute blood and blood products to 21 Greater Augusta hospitals–including the 70-bed critical-care burn unit at the Joseph M. Still Burn Center at Doctors Hospital, and the 581-bed University Hospital.