I’d like to thank the federal government for its collaboration and support of biovigilance, and particularly to thank HHS and CDC for their contributions to the development of Donor and Recipient Hemovigilance. This support and their continued support at this level is critical to a successful biovigilance and hemovigilance effort in this county.
We believe we have an excellent collaborative effort among the private sector participants and the federal government. The private sector has provided funding, expertise and personnel to recruit and train participants and to design the data collection requirements while the government has supported the development of the software for the two hemovigilance systems within this collaborative network.
The pilot for the recipient system is expected to start in early May. Nine hospitals are in the pilot and many of these are already collecting data to contribute as soon as the system is available. The Donor System is complete. Key donor centers are testing the system now. We expect both to be operational by October 2009. Electronic interfaces are planned for both systems to work with existing software used by hospitals and blood collection facilities to facilitate data entry and uploads, in other words to limit FTE efforts in the facilities. We also believe that approximately 60% of the hospitals in this country have no electronic system to track adverse events and incidents making this an extremely attractive electronic tool even if manual entry is required.
Everyone involved in this effort, both in the private and public sectors, is extremely excited about the benefits to patient safety that will come out of this program in terms of lives and money saved over the long term. We are concerned, however, about funding; funding for the operation of the systems, which we see as the role of the public sector, and funding for targeted intervention analyses and hospital recruitment, the private sector’s role. With the impact of the recession, this community and those within the public domain interested in funding patient safety initiatives have fewer dollars available. The sad truth is that contributions have all but stopped. And right now, there is NO funding for additional recruitment f hospitals or for any targeted intervention analyses. Ongoing federal funding is needed to support the collaborative responsibilities of both the public and private sector.
To the extent that this committee can assist in raising awareness and support for the ongoing need for funding of the entire public/private collaborative effort, we need that help. This is a unique project in its ability to save lives and money, but it needs funding to grow into a sustainable program over the next 5 years.