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Blood donors open to digitalization of services

11/15/2017 9:20

The Blood Service has mapped donors’ interest in and readiness to use new types of digital services. Such services include, for example, an electronic health questionnaire to be implemented next spring, various reminder and appointment services which are currently under development, and the opportunity for donors to check their blood donation data using an electronic database.

An online survey concerning electronic services was once again carried out and attracted 1,740 respondents. The biggest group of respondents were aged between 46– 59, but one-fifth of respondents were in the oldest donor group, aged between 60–70.

The vast majority (92%) of survey respondents found online services easy to use, and the majority (72%) would be happy to use the Blood Service’s electronic services in the future. People’s readiness to use digital services had increased in comparison to the previous year. Approximately 87 per cent of respondents would, for example, be happy to receive an automatic notification when they are once again eligible to give blood after an interval between donations or once the time limit on a deferral expires. More than 80 per cent of respondents, and more than 70 per cent even in the oldest age group of 60–70 year-olds, responded positively to filling in a health questionnaire in advance online.

“This is very encouraging news for us, and many pensioners nowadays are accustomed to using computers and smart phones both in working life and in their spare time,” says Account Manager Liisa Romo from the Blood Service.

A helping hand is available

Nine out of ten respondents have access to a computer or a smart phone. The Blood Service promises to provide a helping hand even to those who are wary of the latest technology.
“When the electronic health questionnaire is introduced next year, we will have staff available to guide users on filling out the questionnaire using the Blood Service’s tablet computers. You don’t need your own smart device to give blood,” says Account Manager Liisa Romo from the Blood Service.

According to Tuula Soinvirta, a nurse with Helsinki’s mobile Blood Service, an increasing number of people view a reduction in paper positively.

“Many donors say that everything is done online nowadays, and this is no different. In addition, the opportunity to fill out a health questionnaire in advance speeds up and streamlines visits,” says Soinvirta.

The transition from a paper-based to electronic health questionnaire that can be filled out in advance saves time at the donation point and avoids wasted visits for the donor. The electronic health survey indicates obstacles to donation that the donors themselves may not have thought of.

Preparations have also been made for the fact that not all donors will appreciate the digitalization.

“We know that some donors have expressed concern that they will no longer manage to donate blood, but we would like to reassure them that there’s no need to worry and that we have devices and help available here. And the blood donation event itself will remain unchanged - as an invaluable gesture of kindness from human to human,” says Soinvirta.