Ten Year Anniversary: Our Users Lead The Way

by Brian Burkett

It’s been 10 years since we launched BloodHub.  Here’s our story: how we got started, what we’ve accomplished, and what is yet to come.

Getting Started

Ten years ago, a forward-thinking, innovative blood center CEO asked us a seemingly straightforward question: “Managing blood orders, inventory, lab services… it’s all rather complicated, paper-based, and labor intensive.  Can you guys do better?”

We did our research and sure enough, blood suppliers and their hospitals were spending a lot of time and money on manual, error-prone processes to manage their blood supply.  Building a user friendly web application for automating blood orders and managing inventory sounded simple.  

I mean, how hard can it be to replace phone and fax orders with good software?

Harder than one might think, but for very different reasons.  You see, the first version of BloodHub worked so well, it was quickly adopted by blood suppliers large and small.  And with every implementation, we gained new users who referred us to their colleagues.  These new users loved BloodHub too.  And all saw potential, and gave us their ideas.  An unending river of ideas…

Today

Almost immediately, these ideas made their way into BloodHub, one feature at a time.  Take hospital inventory, for example.  It all started with a simple product return transaction.  We then added transfers.  And then discards.  Followed by a complete unit audit trail.  And digitized return and transfer forms that match each supplier’s SOPs.  What about credits?  Of course!  And so on.  You get the picture.  User ideas point the way forward.

These ideas led us to some unexpected places.  For example, 10 years ago we never considered logistics, transportation, dispatchers, drivers, route optimization, e-signatures, and so on.  But it makes sense, when one realizes that every blood product travels, on average, nearly 100 miles during its lifetime.  That’s a lot of cost and inefficiency.  What about contract management and billing?  Same thing.  From lab services to credits for remanufactured products, traditional billing systems “leak” revenue and margin.  We didn’t come up with these ideas.  You did.  

Today, BloodHub serves 50,000 users at over 4,000 hospitals who place 1.6M orders for nearly 12M components annually.  That’s 65% of the transfusable units in the United States!  Logistics manages 300,000 trips spanning 5 million miles.  BloodBill  invoices nearly $700M in blood revenue per year.  Big numbers, indeed, but also plenty of room to grow too.

What’s Next?

Growth? In blood?  Yes, we really think that’s possible.

Clearly,  the blood industry faces some tough challenges, including reduced revenues, cost pressure, competition, and consolidation.  And while these pressures affect us too, BloodHub is also a big part of the solution.  For example, software plays a leading role in leaning out inefficiencies, driving out cost and errors.  Software enables merged blood suppliers to scale up and consolidate quickly.  And software is vital in maintaining hospital satisfaction while capturing every penny of revenue. 

Betting on the future is, of course, hard.  And very risky.  But we hedge these bets because we have a crystal ball.  You see, all we have to do is keep repeating what made us successful in the first place, and that is listening to you and your ideas.  You will tell us what’s next and how to get there.  You will lead us.

So to all our wonderful, innovative users a BIG THANK YOU for being our partner for our first  10 years together.  It’s been a thrilling ride.  

Here’s to the next 10 years together!