Information Technology (IT) is a critical part of Transfusion Medicine and Cellular Therapy which comprises recruitment, collection, testing, processing, distribution, transfusion/transplantation and quality. IT supports fast and easy access to process data generated in the blood supply chain, including manufacturing, labelling and inventory, facilitating and improving compliance with Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP). At blood centres, different tags are needed for blood bags, containers, locations, personal identification and/or tubes. A 'license plate', in which a unique tag identification code (UID) is linked with a unique donation number ⁄ product code in the host computer, is used for tracking and information. A data carrier held on the label in barcodes and paper is also used. Radio Frequency IDentification (RFID) is a method of uniquely identifying items that uses electromagnetic radio waves (wireless air interface) to interact and exchange data between tags and readers.
Specific goals include:
a. To define and promote strategies on using information technologies for transfusion medicine, cellular therapy, and related areas considering usability, implementation, financial, and business impacts.
b. To evaluate new IT technologies and their applicability to transfusion medicine, cellular therapy, and related areas.
c. To provide education for the membership in Information Technology.
As a member, you have the opportunity to drive forward IT, automated system solutions and standards by sharing experience and knowledge. We discuss the various strategies, IT-related developments and potential new techniques. This WP has various subgroups or taskforces: Interface, RFID and Traceability & Validation.
There are currently about 35 active members and 10 active observers in the WPIT. The participation reflects a balanced representation of transfusion medicine/cellular therapy facilities and industry from many countries around the world.
Members of the Executive Committee are:
- Pat Distler, Chair
- Goudar Shankar, Vice-Chair
- Monica Freire, Secretary
- Jan-Willem Andriessen, Validation Task Force Chair
- Paul Ashford, Traceability Task Force Chair
- Lynne Briggs, RFID Task Force Chair
- Wayne Bolton, RFID Task Force Co-Chair
- Linda Lodge, Interface Task Force Chair
- Ralf Knels, Past Chair
- Mario Muon, ICCBBA TAG Representative
The WPIT accomplishes its goals through task forces. Currently there are four task forces:
Full members of the WP will have interest in the WP process and must be active or honorary members of ISBT. Observer status may be afforded to non-members of ISBT for a period of up to 2 years.
Observers may attend and participate in the WP meetings, but may not vote.
The WPIT members should have:
- Knowledge of the use of IT in the fields of transfusion and transplantation
- Knowledge of and working in transfusion medicine, cellular therapy, and/or related areas
- Ability to support ISBT WPIT activities on a volunteer basis (free-of-charge) with their employer’s consent and support
- Good communication skills
Persons interested in joining the WPIT should contact its Chair.