The generosity of our donors enabled UCHealth Garth Englund Blood Center to purchase an electronic donor-screening system that increases efficiency, which is especially helpful as our country experiences an ongoing blood shortage. GEBC provides 90% of the blood needed at our northern Colorado hospitals—having a profound impact in our community.

The system, called Donor Doc, was implemented in late November 2021, and it enables blood donors to complete GEBC’s donor questionnaires electronically on iPads also purchased with philanthropic dollars. Some key benefits of the new system are:

  • A simplified electronic process for collecting and reviewing donor history information.
  • Ability to maintain an electronic history of a donor’s travel information.
  • Immediate identification of donor history responses that require further staff analysis.
  • Reduction in errors, such as incomplete or missed entries.

“By shifting away from the paper form,” said Anna Johnson, GEBC manager, “we have seen our errors decrease, which better ensures the safety of the blood products we collect.”

Nicolette Clark, an apheresis technician at GEBC, agreed.

“With a few months of using this system under our belts,” Clark said, “I’ve noticed that a lot of donors comment that they really like how quick the iPads are and how much better they like them than our paper system. Donor Doc cuts down on errors, such as accidentally skipping qualifying questions. Plus, donors can list the medications they are on more accurately. The system lets the user type in the first few letters of a medication and then select the correct one from a list, which makes documenting medications extremely accurate.”

Comparing data for medication-entry errors before and after the implementation, mistakes were reduced from 61 in the period December 2020 to February 2021 to seven in the period December 2021 to February 2022. The number of skipped questions went from 20 in the period December 2020 to January 2021 to seven in the period December 2021 to January 2022.

An additional benefit is Donor Doc’s Spanish option.

“Spanish-speaking donors can go through the questionnaire easily and quickly, versus when we had to call interpreters. On the back end, we see their responses in English,” said Stacy Ader, supervisor of GEBC. “Another neat feature is that donors can increase the size of the letters on the Donor Doc form, so the questionnaire is easier to read than our paper version was.”

“Because of the support of the foundation and its philanthropic donors,” Johnson said, “we were able to accelerate this project. The funding from the foundation enabled us to be on the forefront of technology and continue to grow. We are extremely grateful and excited to have this tool.”