Changes are in store for the Southern Oklahoma Blood Institute in Ardmore. Director Susan Crews says a department from the Ardmore location will move to Ada, which will impact two jobs. The donor center will remain open, although stocks will now be moved to Ada as well. The change becomes effective this week.

To compensate, Crews says the inventory for Mercy Hospital Ardmore has been increased to offset the relocation.

“We doubled their inventory to make sure they have blood on hand to meet their needs, and we will be able to stock them in an hour,” she says.

Crews says the situation is not unlike many other hospitals in Oklahoma, which are more than an hour away from an OBI facility. She says moving part of the organization to Ada was an opportunity to streamline operations.

“We have had some of our blood product staff retire, and there was an opportunity to become more efficient,” she explains. “There won’t be any service interruption. All the hospitals will have services as there were before.”

The hospital believes the transition will be seamless, and does not expect the movement of the blood institute’s donor storage to have an impact on the hospital’s ability to serve the public.

Karen Ford, Mercy Hospital Ardmore’s director of laboratory services, says the Southern Oklahoma Blood Institute is a quality center, well versed on the needs of the hospitals.

“After discussions, we feel very good that we will be prepared for whatever we need to do,” Ford says.

“We give them an inventory every day and every evening. They monitor, it’s not like we have to ask and wait. We are not going to be left high and dry, we are good with this.”

Tina Townsend, hospital blood bank lead technologist, says a new agreement will increase the hospital’s normal stock of 50 to 60 units to around 90 to 100 units. She says the hospital goes through an average of 50 units per week.

“We are well equipped to handle emergency and trauma situations,” she assures. “They are going to hover over us. We monitor our inventory closely, and there is online inventory we can enter in technologically.”

Townsend says the hospital has a close relationship with the institute, has met with them and knows the people who will be in charge.

“We know the couriers and people,” she says. “I have worked with them for 30 years, and I know first hand how good their customer service is.”