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Impact of various information technology tools on first-time donor recruitment and repeat blood donations in blood bank

Amit Shah, Prarthana Joshi, Kamlesh J Shah.

Background: Blood is a lifesaving drug for treatment of various critically ill patients. But, demand of blood is continuously increasing, and blood donation rate is declining. The scarcity of safe blood is compounded by the deficiency of donors in developing countries—where that blood is required most. Enrollment and maintenance of donors to sustain and raise the donor base are important for blood banks.

Objective: To evaluate the impact of various information technology (IT) tools such as promotional messages via short message service (SMS), electronic mails (E-mails), and social medias on first-time blood donations and repeat blood donations.

Materials and Methods: This interventional study was carried out at blood bank of GMERS Medical College, Valsad, Gujarat, India. Initially, investigators carried out situational analysis of first-time blood donor recruitment and repeat blood donations from medical records of March 2015–May 2015. Then, various IT tools such as promotional SMS, E-mails, WhatsApp, etc. were applied as interventions during June 2015–August 2015. At the end, outcome indicators noted were percentage change in repeat blood donations and percentage change in first-time blood donations. Data were analyzed by MS Excel.

Result: In this study, before applying various IT tools intervention during March 2015–May 2015, there were in total 411 blood donations reported. Among this, 266 were first-time blood donations, and 145 were repeat blood donations. After applying various IT interventions during June 2015–August 2015, there were 585 blood donation reported in total, which showed 42.35% rise in blood donations. Among this, 386 were first-time blood donations, and 199 were repeat blood donations. In this study, after applying various IT interventions, first-time donor recruitment showed 45.11% rise, and repeat blood donor recruitment showed 37.24% rise.

Conclusion: This study showed there was marked impact of IT tools such as promotional messages via SMS, E-mails, and social media on improving new voluntary blood donor recruitment and repeat blood donations in blood banks.

Key words: Information technology (IT) tools, first-time blood donor, repeat blood donor

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