Introducing smart, convenient digital tools

We’re investing in new technologies to better serve patients, donors, hospitals and our own team members.

Digital systems are increasingly vital to every aspect of our operations: recruiting and engaging with donors; collecting and distributing blood; manufacturing blood products; operating organ and stem cell registries; conducting research and sharing knowledge; and managing core administrative functions such as human resources and finance.

Like most organizations, we are working to keep pace with technological change and exploring possible applications of everything from robotics to artificial intelligence. Yet even as we become more innovative and agile, we adhere to a set of fundamental risk management principles. Our approach to change is judiciously incremental, as we integrate new technologies into our operations at the right time, in the right way and at the right scale.

Workplace productivity

In 2017–2018, we continued to roll out our digital workplace program, providing tools to help everyone across Canadian Blood Services work more efficiently and effectively. Employees who are on the move can access files and collaborate with colleagues from anywhere, minimizing the risk of duplicated effort or getting out of sync with the team. By making information and applications instantly accessible in the cloud (with robust security measures in place), we are also able to reduce our data storage and other infrastructure costs.

Our supply chain, from end to end

With the introduction of online and mobile appointment booking, and now our piloting of Donor Concierge kiosks at donor centres, the whole process of attracting and interacting with donors is increasingly supported by digital technology. Once donors enter the health screening process at our sites, we gather information on tablets rather than paper forms, using the automated system introduced in July 2016. The result is a smoother experience for donors, backed by more efficient, accurate data collection and management.

As blood and its components move along the supply chain, the information captured on each unit is used by other systems we’ve implemented to track and manage production and logistics.

Over the past year, we’ve been working with some of our larger hospital customers to determine how we can move from paper order forms — typically sent via fax — to an online ordering system. The advantages of going fully digital are clear: higher efficiency, fewer errors, greater flexibility and the ability to precisely track and analyze usage up to the minute. We’re collaborating closely with hospital staff to ensure we develop an application and user experience that fit their needs. By testing and learning together, applying the principles of human-centred design, we’re co-creating a solution that will be trusted, effective and used to its full advantage.

Data protection

Another benefit of moving from recording donor information on paper forms to capturing it digitally is that this data can be stored more securely. We manage and regularly test our systems to ensure that any personal information provided by our donors is not accessible to any unauthorized parties. In all other areas of our operations where confidential information is entrusted to us — whether by website visitors, users of our mobile app or health professionals sharing relevant medical data — rigorously protecting privacy and security remains our top priority. We have always been, and will continue to be, proactive in safeguarding the confidential data of everyone connected with us.