• Cheryl Austin and Elaine Perry of the Robertson Blood Center, and Jill Hoag, Dr. Geeta Paranjape, and Mary Barrera of the AABB examine records at the Robertson Blood Center at Fort Hood, Texas on Nov. 2, 2010.

    Standards of excellence

    Cheryl Austin and Elaine Perry of the Robertson Blood Center, and Jill Hoag, Dr. Geeta Paranjape, and Mary Barrera of the AABB examine records at the Robertson Blood Center at Fort Hood, Texas on Nov. 2, 2010.

  • The Robertson Blood Donor Center staff applaud their success in the AABB certification process on Nov. 2, 2010, at Fort Hood, Texas.

    AABB Certificate - check!

    The Robertson Blood Donor Center staff applaud their success in the AABB certification process on Nov. 2, 2010, at Fort Hood, Texas.

FORT HOOD, Texas (ASBP, December 1, 2010)-Standards, qualifications and inspections are part of life for the military, and the Armed Services Blood Program donor centers are no different. The capstone inspection is the AABB's (formerly the American Association of Blood Banks) assessment, and the Robertson Blood Center at Fort Hood, Texas is proud to say that it has earned the AABB certification!

The AABB coordinates inspection teams to examine the records and procedures of blood donor centers and blood banks to ensure compliance with national standards. The Robertson Blood Center first earned its AABB certification as a clinic separate from the hospital's laboratory in 1983, and in November 2010, the team of professionals again earned it for the following year. In November, a four-person team visited Fort Hood and examined the Robertson Blood Center on all aspects of blood collection, processing, shipping and documentation of the blood products that Fort Hood ships overseas to support deployed troops.

The AABB team of volunteers was led by Jill Hoag of Bethesda, Md., who was supported by Ray Smith, Mary Barrera, and a new inspector learning the process. After a short-notice, the team arrived and spent more than two days digging into procedures, systems and processes at the Robertson Blood Center. After pouring over records and extensive documents maintained by the blood donor center, the blood donor center received its certification.

According to Hoag, "the goal is to look at as much of the operation as possible."

"This inspection is important because we get outside eyes to help us pinpoint problem areas and improve our quality," said Elaine Perry, quality manager of the blood donor center.

Although some minor issues were brought to the staff's attention during the review, corrections were either made or scheduled immediately. Most military blood donor centers subscribe to Current Good Manufacturing Practices-a process that develops systems to prevent errors rather than punishing one person after the fact. This helps ensure the safest blood supply in the world is available to wounded troops whether they are deployed overseas or in a military hospital in the continental United States.

When Col.(retired) Elaine Perry received the final certificate, she shared it with the team that ensured the center's compliance. For fifteen years, Robertson Blood Center has set a very high standard of excellence.

The team at the Robertson Blood Center works hard to ensure that military members can receive the blood they need when they need it most. With the AABB certification on their resume this year, soldiers and their families that may need blood can be very confident that the supplies used will be of the very highest quality.

To find out more about the Armed Services Blood Program or to make an appointment, please visit us online: www.militaryblood.dod.mil. To interact directly with some of our staff or to get the latest news, visit us here: www.facebook.com/militaryblood

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16