Blood Centers of America’s Dashboard supports Federal Response to COVID-19
Long-time partner leverages embedded analytics to get the job done
Data That Saves Lives
BCA is a cooperative of independent blood centers that operate an online blood exchange website that helps centers manage and communicate operations across the member network. The website’s interface uses the embedded analytics layer from Logi Symphony, from insightsoftware. BCA’s focus is on matching the demand with the supply to meet the needs of lifecare centers all over the country. Greg explains further, “Whether it’s finding a market for their product or helping to determine where they can source it, BCA has set up the how-tos. We basically provide these centers with what they might need to fulfill their mission.”
Logi Symphony has been helpful in creating an easy-to-use system that has been fully operationalized in order to “make lives happen.”
The Past and the Present
BCA has been working with Logi Symphony for over fifteen years. BCA has built a data infrastructure wherein data enters the SQL server through Logi Symphony. The IT department configures the ELT (Extract Load and Transfer) systems to speak to each other and merge the data within Logi Symphony.
BCA’s needs have evolved over time, as has the partnership. In the early days, members had requested an abundance of metrics. Due to the large amount of information and complexity in its structure, data overwhelm began to settle in. For BCA, having the ability to surface and visualize that data in a meaningful way with Logi Symphony is a major improvement.
“Logi Symphony is integral in supporting communications with our members. We track the inventory for over 50 blood centers.” Greg Bishop, VP of Information Services, Blood Centers of America.
With the dashboards they’ve created using Logi Symphony, BCA can manage collections, distributions, and inventory levels. The way it works is that a member goes into the dashboard and posts a need for blood. The “need” is then matched with the “excess” in the system. For the person or center on the outside, it all looks seamless and effortless.
Leveling Up to Fight the Pandemic
BCA was enlisted to help people in the early stage of the pandemic. There arose an important national effort to collect plasma from donors who had recently had COVID. This program to attract and educate COVID survivors and collect donations, was called “COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma,” or CCP.
For BCA, the CCP program vastly changed the status quo for their IT department. Practically overnight, BCA was to work with centers outside of their 50-member partner network who had to be educated in how to communicate with the dashboards. Greg shared, “I just love the fact that something as simple as an email report goes out every night to people that we never dealt with before in all different roles.”
The BCA collected an impressive 717,000 doses of plasma. The new connections resulted in a significant increase in volume and with that, a huge amount of processing. It added complexities and demanded enhanced tech efforts. Greg cites, “So this was a whole new animal. It was totally different than anything we’d ever done before.”
For starters, the reporting of key metrics was needed at both regional and national levels. This was a tremendous and new responsibility. Also new was the increase in “players” in the operation. There were new stakeholders from the government, hospitals, blood collectors, and blood banks. On a given day, there might be reporting needed from 70+ blood collectors. All of these reports were made possible by Logi Symphony.
With the increase in dashboard users, there was a subsequent increase in screens, data processing overhead, and the volumes of transfer in and out of different systems. Logi Symphony was essential to the exporting of data out of various systems. “We processed over 39K invoice lines on the Collection of CCP and the software better enabled us to account for these in our back-office work,” said Greg. Technically speaking, on the back-end, BCA operates on the SQL server and data comes in the form of CSV files that need to be consolidated. “BCA was able to help facilitate/coordinate collections and help ensure that COVID-19 convalescent plasma (CCP) was available for use in treating patients with the virus — while helping to maintain a secure and stable supply of blood and plasma for hospitals,” said Greg.
About Blood Centers of America
BCA is a cooperative of blood centers. Meaning, one of their primary functions is as a group purchasing organization. When a client group needs to buy products, they buy through BCA’s contracts. The advantage is that they can buy in much larger volumes versus on their own.
BCA covers over 50-member blood centers in the US. Headquartered in West Warwick, Rhode Island, BCA provides many services for their centers. One of its biggest initiatives currently is to recruit and retain new donors to BCA’s many locales. BCA claims locations throughout the United States. They are an established organization and have been sourcing blood supplies for the past thirty years.
During these times, it is rewarding to work with companies that are making a difference. Blood Centers of America (BCA) is an organization that is intent on saving lives. “BCA has been Nationally recognized by several different industry organizations for their efforts around its CCP support during the Pandemic.” BCA partnered with insightsoftware to move from manual data exports and spreadsheets to more streamlined and scalable automated processes. BCA’s small but mighty IT department combined with insightsoftware’s heavy lifting brought about 100% success. VP of Information Services, Blood Centers of America, Greg Bishop proclaims,
I was impressed that insightsoftware always had exactly what we needed. Either the functionality already existed, or it was about to come out in a new release. I never had to wait for the solution to catch up with our needs.