Australian Red Cross Lifeblood (ARCL)

The Australian Red Cross Lifeblood, formerly named Australian Red Cross Blood Service (RCBS), is a branch of the Australian Red Cross. It is the body primarily responsible for blood donation and related services in Australia. ACEMS works with RCBS in an on-going partnership to address long ranging methodological challenges around donor centre efficiencies, planning stocking and delivery of blood and blood products, ensuring product safety, planning future demand and other problems relevant to their core business.

Australian Red Cross Lifeblood

There have been two active projects with the Australian Red Cross Lifeblood in 2019.

  1. ACEMS Associate Investigator Dr Nicole White (ACEMS QUT) applied for ICSS funding to explore “The use of secondary or non-traditional data for predicting flu trends” and
  2. ACEMS Associate Investigators Dr Mark Fackrell and Dr Joyce Zhang (ACEMS UoM) continued their work on donor centre optimisation.

Predicting Flu Trends Using Secondary or Non-Traditional Data

Researchers from ACEMS have continued to progress this work. Unfortunately, the ICSS application by Dr White was withdrawn in September 2019 as staff changes within ARCL resulted in reduced support for the project.  Dr White is continuing to work with the ARCL to rescope this work but without utilising any ICSS funding.

Blood Donor Centre Optimisation

Dr Mark Fackrell and Dr Joyce Zhang have extended their 2018 work with Australian Red Cross Lifeblood, exploring the different lengths of stay across multiple donor centres, with ACEMS students Meirian Lovelace-Tozer and Xiangjun (Irene) Li. This work has included: exploratory data analysis on datasets collected from four different donor centres; fitting phase-type distributions to various lengths of stay; and running simulations with the model to compare results from the four donor centres.

The project work by ACEMS and ARCL is expected to yield a number of publications (including a Transfusion paper and Healthcare Management Science paper). Dr Fackrell and Dr Zhang aim to build on this work, including to predict donor arrivals and create more responsive staff rosters; the proposed outcome of this further work will be very useful to Australian Red Cross Lifeblood. Moreover, there may be opportunities to start at least one new PhD or Masters student project as Meirian and Irene have since completed their research studies. Dr Fackrell and Dr Zhang have a jointly-supervised PhD student commencing in 2020 who may be involved, particularly as their interests include healthcare modelling.

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