John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford won top prize out of 130 entries at the 2007 UK Government Computing Awards for Innovation 2007 and also the best project in the Government to Citizen award category
Both awards were presented for a new wireless system - the Olympus BloodTrack Suite - that uses handheld devices to identify and track blood transfusion units.
Replacing traditional paper-based systems that are open to error, the system provides secure end-to-end electronic control of blood administration with the use of bar-coded wristbands, ensuring safer transfusions, cutting costs and freeing up staff time.
Presenting the award, government chief information officer John Suffolk said the judges were impressed by how the system dealt with a complex process in the challenging environment of a modern day hospital.
The system was installed by the John Radcliffe Hospital, part of the Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals NHS Trust, as a positive response to the introduction of the EU Blood Safety and Quality Regulations 2005, which meant that all EU hospitals must have systems in place to provide a comprehensive audit trail of blood units.
Barbara Cripps, the ORH's project manager for the blood tracking project explained, "It's great to receive recognition for what we believe is a wonderful system that provides numerous benefits to patients, clinicians and health service managers".
The system also assists in managing blood stock by controlling staff access rights and managing the transportation of blood products around the trust's hospitals from arrival in the blood bank through to retrieval and delivery to the patient, allowing a complete electronic audit trail with full traceability of blood from arrival in the blood bank to safe transfusion to the right patient.
The Olympus BloodTrack system has also made significant cost savings across the trust.
Barbara Cripps adds: "The system reduces the blood transfusion process by around 50 minutes, from 131 minutes to just 81 minutes.
"This equates to staff time savings of £17.44 for each transfusion.
"As the trust conducts approximately 30,000 transfusions per year, when this system is implemented in all sites across the trust this will equate to time savings of around £523,200".
Finally, Piers Devereux, managing director of Olympus UK added, "We welcome this recognition of the real benefits that the BloodTrack Suite brings to hospitals and patients.
"It also results from a successful partnership between Olympus, Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals NHS Trust and the National Blood Service.
"Together we have been able to develop a state of the art patient safety system.
"The award will help us accelerate its introduction into other forward thinking hospitals."