Systems-based hematology is dedicated to improving care delivery for patients with blood disorders. First defined by the American Society of Hematology in 2015, the idea of a systems-based hematologist arose from evolving pressures in the health care system and increasing recognition of opportunities to optimize the quality and cost effectiveness of hematologic care. In this review, we begin with a proposed framework to formalize the discussion of the range of initiatives within systems-based hematology. Classification by 2 criteria, project scope and method of intervention, facilitates comparison between initiatives and supports dialogue for future efforts. Next, we present published examples of successful systems-based initiatives in the field of hematology, including efforts to improve stewardship in the diagnosis and management of complex hematologic disorders (eg, heparin-induced thrombocytopenia and thrombophilias), the development of programs to promote appropriate use of hematologic therapies (eg, blood products, inferior vena cava filters, and anticoagulation), changes in care delivery infrastructure to improve access to hematologic expertise (eg, electronic consultation and disorder-specific care pathways), and others. The range of projects illustrates the broad potential for interventions and highlights different metrics used to quantify improvements in care delivery. We conclude with a discussion about future directions for the field of systems-based hematology, including extension to malignant disorders and the need to define, expand, and support career pathways.
© 2020 by The American Society of Hematology.