Hospitals are under increased pressure to decrease operating costs. Hospital-based laboratories, blood banks (transfusion services), increasingly face the potential of being outsourced as hospitals try to survive the current waves of managed care. A number of complicated and unique services are provided by the hospital-based transfusion service and physician. Clinical consultation, complicated immunohematological procedures, apheresis, participation in a complex array of patient-care services, clinical research, ever increasing regulatory issues, and quality assurance activities are only a few of the challenges in today's transfusion medicine environment. This paper will focus on the hospital-based transfusion service, and the transfusion medicine physician, and present arguments as to why this service should remain close to the patient's bedside and not be outsourced.
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