Donate blood in Sweden and you’ll get an automatic ‘thank you’ text for your contribution to the country’s blood supply. You’ll also receive a text when your blood is used to help someone else.
In a recent initiative to combat blood stock shortages, Sweden has taken to digital media to raise public awareness and to get people talking about blood donation.
If you donate blood in Sweden the county council will text you when your blood is used. pic.twitter.com/4Ycf5O6m3F
— Robert Lenne (@robertlenne) June 8, 2015
“We are constantly trying to develop ways to express [donors'] importance,” Karolina Blom Wiberg, a communications manager at the Stockholm blood service, told The Independent. “We want to give them feedback on their effort, and we find this is a good way to do that.”
The initiative started three years ago as a pilot scheme by Stockholm-based blood service Blodcentralen, and since then it has received such a great response that it’s being rolled out country-wide.
“It's a great feeling to know you made such a big difference and maybe even saved someone else's life,” said Blom Wiberg. “We get a lot of visibility in social media and traditional media thanks to the SMS. But above all we believe it makes our donors come back to us, and donate again.”
To avoid a mass shortage of blood, Swedish authorities are also moving towards being as transparent as possible about the exact levels of blood in stock. Another initiative set in place allows Stockholm residents to see a real-time chart of blood stock levels on the local blood service’s website.
“The same info as we have internally is shown externally,” says Blom Wiberg.
Regular donors who see that stocks are running low on the website can notify others quickly using social media or other digital channels, helping to ensure stable blood supplies are maintained.
With a constant need for blood donors in most countries, Sweden’s digital feedback scheme is an easy system to replicate for any country wanting to encourage people to make a real difference in someone else's life.