About the Company
Bonfils Blood Center, Colorado’s first community blood center, was founded in February 28, 1943. Over the decades Bonfils has become an essential part of Colorado’s healthcare system. Operating nine community donor centers, Bonfils serves over 115 statewide healthcare facilities, and collects more than 200,000 units of blood every year. In addition, the organization offers a variety of services to better meet the needs of the community, including the Colorado Marrow Donor Program and Laboratories at Bonfils.
Every unit of blood entering the nation’s blood supply must undergo an increasing series of tests to ensure that it is safe. A mistake in assigning test results could have catastrophic consequences. Maintaining safety and confidence in the blood supply requires a tremendous amount of care in tracking blood units – before, during and after the testing process.
To fulfill its mission, Bonfils Blood Center utilizes the most sophisticated testing practices and equipment to ensure the safety of the blood supply. In addition to testing the blood collected at its facilities, Bonfils also provides testing services to local hospital-based blood banks. Bonfils provides the same testing services to its clients as it does for its own blood collections, running each unit through 12 different tests. Bonfils must incrementally increase collections to meet Colorado’s population expansion and maintain a state of blood supply readiness to support unforeseen events.
In the past, Bonfils used internally developed software and older wand readers. The company made the decision to implement SafeTrace, a donor management information system to track the flow of blood from initial recruitment to distribution. The software assists with recruiting, scheduling and registering donors.
For each donor, the software prints out a registration form. Pre-printed barcode labels are attached to each form and to the containers that hold the blood. The blood then goes through a series of tests to ensure its safety. Each test instrument has a built-in scanner that reads the unit number. Test results and unit numbers are automatically entered into the database, ensuring that accurate results are matched to the correct unit. The blood is split into different components and additional pre-printed labels are used for each component.
Each test instrument has a built-in scanner that reads the unit number. Test results and unit numbers are automatically entered into the database, ensuring that accurate results are matched to the correct unit. The blood is split into different components and additional pre-printed labels are used for each component.
Bonfils evaluated the industry-leading barcode printing and scanning technologies in search of the best match to their needs. With 15 registration stations, five stations for labeling, five stations for testing, 10 stations to separate blood into components and five stations for distribution, Bonfils wanted to ensure the scanners and printers were fast, reliable and accurate, and selected Peak Technologies to provide the printers and scanners because of Peak Technologies’ automatic identification expertise; healthcare industry experience; and ability to provide hardware, consumables and service all from a single source.
printers, barcode/Auto ID products, radio frequency products, forms handling equipment and point of sale printers. Bonfils maintains several spare printers and scanners that are used as the first line of defense when a breakdown occurs. The broken equipment is immediately replaced with a spare and then a call is put in to Peak Technologies to fix the machine that has been taken out of service.
Benefits and Results
Truett Gaylor, Customer Engineer for Peak Technologies, provides support for Bonfils. “Whenever they have a problem,” Gaylor said, “they call our toll-free dispatch number and provide the serial number of the equipment. A text message is immediately sent to my cell phone.”
Under the current contract, Peak Technologies has one hour from the time the call is received to contact the customer, to obtain details of the problem and to establish the CE’s arrival time to fix the problem on site. “Normally I am able to call them in just a few minutes and review the problem,” Gaylor said.
Gaylor typically visits the blood bank three or four times per month to fix equipment and two or three times a year to perform preventive maintenance that is also provided under the contract. In addition, Gaylor provides periodic training classes for the operators, showing them how to resolve some of the simpler issues themselves. He also created basic cheat sheets that help users resolve specific problems without having to delve into the manual.
“It’s very critical that our barcode printers and scanners be up and running at all times in order to ensure the accurate movement of blood from donor to recipient,” said Bonfils’ Thompson. “Peak Technologies has met that need for us for over a decade. They respond very promptly to our calls for assistance and 95 percent of the time they are able to fix our machine on the first visit. Just as important, the Peak Technologies people have a keen understanding of the healthcare business. They recognize that in some cases a printer or barcode reader can make the difference between life and death, and they bend over backwards to meet our requirements. In addition, their billing is always very accurate, which saves us time in resolving issues.”
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- Donor management information system to track the flow of blood from initial recruitment to distribution
- On-site service
- Increased accuracy
- Consistent supply
“Everything went very smoothly, so when Peak Technologies suggested a service contract, we thought it would be a good idea,” said Perry Martin, who was Director of Information Services at the time and now manages telecommunications for Bonfils. Peak Technologies manages service contracts for over 100,000