In March of 2016, the Food and Drug Administration raised the minimum hemoglobin/hematocrit donor eligibility requirement for males. The minimum requirement is now set at 39 percent hematocrit or a hemoglobin of 13 gms.
How did this impact your blood center?
While we all prepared for the change and forecasted the anticipated impact, one potential oversight was the makeup of the procedure mix among the donors that would no longer be eligible to donate due to the new FDA regulation. Centers reported an anticipated 2% - 5% impact on overall collections, but we are finding that more than 80% of these donors could be platelet donors.
What can we do?
Conversion is key. In order to sustain your donor base and hit goal, your blood donor recruitment representatives must use an apheresis conversion calling strategy. At Incept, we’ve developed a proprietary process for recruiting donors using automation principles based on blood type. By looking at blood type, current needs, and donation history to segment the correct list, we can convert the right types, educate donors, and reactivate lapsed donors. This leads to a larger automated donors base, a more flexible recruiting strategy, and a reduction in costs due to efficiency. Ultimately it means saving more lives.
In a recent test for apheresis conversion, we targeted donors who had had a successful platelet or platelet combination donation in any of their last 3 visits to the blood center, and all male A+ donors for conversion. The test began in March 2015 with an average of 1000 callable donors a week. Results are in:
- Over 15% of our total platelets come from conversions.
- Over 87% of donors who made appointments were converted to an apheresis appointment
- Over 50% of the donors we spoke with scheduled an appointment during the phone call
- Over 66% of donors scheduled gave a productive unit of blood
- Client increased their percent to goal by 8%
- Client exceeded their monthly platelet goals