Tele-recruitment for Donor Retention

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Abstract

Blood transfusion services are the integral part of health care system and these services have safe blood transfusion as the major goal. Voluntary blood donation is the key to safe blood and this safety is further enhanced when the voluntary blood donors become repeat/regular donors. Retention of donors is therefore a very crucial strategy to ensure enhanced blood safety. Tele-recruitment is an effective medium of recruiting and more importantly retaining donors via means of telephone/Short Message Service. This study was carried out at a standalone blood bank during the period from January to December 2011 with objectives of donor retention, relationship management with the support of personnel with good communication skills, Donor data base, Integrated software and communication facility. For Initial 4 months there was no tele-recruiter, then for 2 months two tele-recruiter and for next 6 months three tele-recruiter were dedicated. Only impact of tele-recruitment on in-house donation was taken into consideration. 2,091 donors were recruited through tele-recruitment in this eight-month period. This was 63 % of in-house donations and 13 % of total donations. In other words out of every five in-house donations, three donations were from people contacted through tele-recruitment. Repeat voluntary blood donation is the safest donation. Tele-recruitment does this by converting ‘first-time’ donors into repeat/regular donors. Simple intervention like reminder calls on telephone can be highly effective tool to retain donors. Tele-recruitment helped the blood center establish relationships with individual donors, and, maybe, even the society at large. Tele-recruitment is a very low-cost model which can be easily replicated in all kind of blood banks, be it standalone, or a hospital based. Even the blood centers which are largely dependent on replacement donors can possibly have good results and convert replacement donors into repeat/regular voluntary blood donors.