Bloodless Medicine and Surgery: A Patient Centered Approach

Please note: AABB reserves the right to make updates to this program.                          

Live Program Date: Thursday, May 18, 2017 - On-Demand Available

Master Program Number: 17EL-137 (see program format numbers below under Registration)

Educational Track: Leadership Management 
Topic: Patient Blood Management
Intended Audience: Physicians, Technologists, Nurses, Managers/Supervisors, CEOs, CFOs, Perfusionists, Laboratory Staff, Medical Directors, Students/Fellows, Residents
Teaching Level: Basic

Director/Moderator: Kelly Meyer, Webcast Specialist, AABB, Bethesda, MD
Speaker: Mary Kay Wisniewski MT, MS Com., Improvement Specialist, UPMC, Pittsburgh, PA
Panelist Members: George Ghee, Hospital Liaison Committee, Pittsburg Jehovah’s Witnesses Christian Denomination, Pittsburgh, PA; Deborah Tatro, Bloodless Medicine Coordinator, UPMC, Pittsburgh, PA

Learning Objectives

After participating in this educational activity, participants should be able to:

  • Describe communication strategies to engage patients in their healthcare decisions as they relate to bloodless medicine and surgery.
  • Identify how to expand a hospital based bloodless medicine program into a large integrated academic enterprise, without an increase in staff.
  • Discuss why personalized medicine is the perfect match for value based healthcare.

Program Description

This program is designed to share one healthcare organization’s strategy to serve the unique needs of the Jehovah’s Witnesses (JW) community in Pittsburgh.  JWs belief in the refusal of blood transfusion, even in a life or death situation was once shrouded in a garment of biblical interpretation that required a publisher’s degree.  In collaboration with the JW Community and the Hospital Liaison Committee (HLC) members, UPMC developed a Bloodless Medicine and Surgery program that was built upon the principle of respect for personal choice. Staff education was key in the programs deployment and put the patient, the physician, and nursing on the same page when developing a care plan for JW patients. The journey to fully develop a now nationally recognized bloodless medicine program will be shared with the participants.


   Program #
Single Viewer: On-Demand Register17EL-4031-137
Group Viewing: On-Demand Register17EL-8031-137

Speaker Biography

Mary Kay Wisniewski began her healthcare journey as a laboratory technician.  Her commitment to quality improvement in the clinical lab led to her recognition as a leader and change agent.  With a passion for the patient experience, in 2005, she joined the UPMC Wolff Center as an improvement specialist. Over the next several years her work focused on improving the oncology patient experience, co-chairing the UPMC Patient Experience Advocate Team and also worked internationally to promote patient-centered care in Sicily at UPMC Ismett. In December 2012, she accepted a position as the coordinator of the UPMC Patient Blood Management Program. The past three years of work in blood management has resulted in improved patient outcomes at significantly reduced costs. Mary Kay is the current project manager for surgical risk assessment and presurgical evaluation center development. 

Mary Kay’s academic achievements include a degree in Medical Technology (AMT), a BA in Communication for Advocacy from Carlow University and just recently earned her Master’s Degree in Communication for Healthcare from Chatham University.