Introduction: Blood transfusions are a risk factor for increased morbidity, mortality, and length of hospital stay. Patient blood management guidelines provide guidance to reduce risk and improve patient outcomes. They outline steps to help prevent transfusions and considerations for when deciding to transfuse. One recommendation to prevent unnecessary transfusion is to optimize patients using Pre-operative Anemia and Iron Deficiency Screening, Evaluation and Management Pathways (PAIDSEM-P). The uptake of these recommendations is highly variable, and an effective approach to implementing them in a tailored and context-specific manner remains elusive.
Method and Design: A mixed-methods, interventional study, using a type two-hybrid effectiveness-implementation design, will evaluate the impact of a change package to improve the uptake of PAIDSEM-P. The change package consists of the intervention (PAIDSEM-P) supported by theoretically informed implementation strategies. Pre-and post-implementation, retrospective health record reviews will determine the effect of the change package on provider outcomes, including compliance with guideline recommendations as measured by the proportion of patients who have the appropriate tests performed, and, if required, appropriate treatment and/or referrals. Patient outcomes will be measured by checking for any difference in the proportion of patients with anemia on the day of surgery and the proportion of patients who receive a blood transfusion during the peri-operative period. An economic evaluation will be conducted to compare health outcomes and costs. The feasibility, acceptability and appropriateness of the PAIDSEM-P will be assessed using a quantitative, validated survey to measure implementation outcomes.
Discussion: Testing of implementation theory is required to advance understanding of what works, in what context, and the impact on implementation success. This study aims to evaluate the impact of a theoretically informed change package on improving the uptake of PAIDSEM-P. If successful, it will also provide a framework for health care facilities to follow when addressing other evidence-practice gaps.