Major developments at Héma-Québec

MONTREAL, QUEBEC, January 12, 1999 - Major developments are happening throughout HÉMA-QUÉBEC, particularly in terms of operations, administration and research.

Information system New operating software will be deployed in fall 1999 to eliminate Y2K problems and enable us to trace products by computer at all times.

The program chosen by HÉMA-QUÉBEC is called PROGESA and it is produced by French firm MAK-SYSTEM. It is a high-performance program used around the world by 257 transfusion centres in 18 countries. Quebec hospitals will be using the hospital version of PROGRESA to manage their blood banks. HÉMA-QUÉBEC, the hospitals and the hemovigilance committee will thus be linked together by computer as planned once the program has been fully deployed.

Red cell filtration
HÉMA-QUÉBEC will begin filtering blood this spring prior to delivery to hospitals. The aim is to remove most of the white cells (leukocytes), which can cause transfusion complications.

Visual identification
The visual identification program has been completed. The entire fleet of trucks now sports the HÉMA-QUÉBEC colours and logo, and new uniforms will soon be available for blood clinic staff.

Information exchanges with France
HÉMA-QUÉBEC began exchanging information with the French blood agency on operations, marketing and donor recruiting. These exchanges will enable the agencies to benefit from each other's expertise and thus improve operations.

Information system HÉMA-QUÉBEC successfully implemented in record time the first phase of SAP's R/3 system to manage administrative information. HÉMA-QUÉBEC used SAP's Accelerated Solutions program and was the first organization in Canada to complete installation of the first R/3 system module using this program. Phase two of the implementation is currently underway.

Centralization of activities in Quebec City HÉMA-QUÉBEC's research activities are conducted in Quebec City, and a complete renovation of these facilities is currently underway. In all, 32 people will be assigned to research. Twenty people are already at work under the guidance of a senior director. Research projects in progress pertain to the specificity of the tests we use to detect diseases transmitted though blood, expansion of hematopoietic stem cells (bone marrow), controlling apoptosis, in vitro production of monoclonal antibodies and new uses for human blood.

Board of directors
Advisory committees In accordance with Krever Report recommendation 14, three committees have been set up to advise the HÉMA-QUÉBEC board of directors: the scientific and medical advisory committee, the risk management (safety) advisory committee and the liaison committee (to be set up by recipient representatives). The first two committees consist of experts from Quebec and elsewhere in Canada, as well as international specialists.

As part of its mission, HÉMA-QUÉBEC provides Quebeckers with adequate quantities of superior quality and safe blood products to meet the needs of hospitals in all regions of the province and to provide recognized expertise and specialized services in immuno-hematology.