Indiana Blood Center

indianabloodIndianapolis-based Indiana Blood Center (IBC) is among the larger regional members of America’s Blood Centers, a group that is responsible for maintaining about 50% of our nation’s blood supply: the American Red Cross is responsible for the other 50%. Over 400 IBC employees are dedicated to supplying and testing blood products for a network of 48 hospitals.

Like all blood centers, IBC adheres to Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) designed to ensure the integrity of the blood supply. IBC is subject to constant scrutiny by regulatory agencies, and audits of the SOPs are frequent.

Challenges- Improving the usability of SOPs


IBC managers wished to improve the quality and usability of the organization’s SOPs. The SOPs were identified as major reasons why training was taking too long and employees were spending excessive amounts of time in rework.

A review of the SOPs revealed that they were cumbersome, wordy and difficult to work with. Their focus was on satisfying the requirements of auditors rather than supporting performance. This was critical for IBC, because many blood center employees are not highly educated. These employees rely on well presented instructions to help them do very precise work.

Solution- Information Mapping training for SOP authors

Twenty IBC managers responsible for writing SOPs were trained in Information Mapping techniques. These managers, functioning as both subject matter experts and authors, applied their Mapping skills to completely revising the SOPs.

Results- decreased training time, improved performance

The new user-friendly SOPs were very well received by IBC employees. They found it much easier to locate the information they needed, and their reliance on the documentation increased. IBC credits the Information Mapping method as a key factor in helping to reduce error rates and decrease training time.

“Our audience loves it. There’s no question that Information Mapping has benefited us greatly.”
-- Kathie Cunningham, Director, Quality