Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center Selects Plateau To Manage Learning And Comply With Federal Regulations

January 15, 2003

Based in Houston, Texas, Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center provides over 200,000 units of blood each year to more than 200 hospitals and healthcare facilities in 24 counties in Southeast Texas. The Blood Center will implement Plateau 4 LMS at its Houston headquarters and 13 branches. With Plateau 4 LMS, Gulf Coast employees will log in to a personalized Web portal that shows their training requirements and deadlines, delivers training content, and archives all records of completed training in a secure “audit trail” for federal inspectors to review. Plateau 4 LMS will replace the Blood Center’s paper-based system of recording training.

Like all organizations that handle blood, The Blood Center must comply with Good Manufacturing Practices for employee training mandated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), as well as U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations. FDA inspectors audit the center’s training system annually. Laurie McGraw, Gulf Coast’s director of education and training, said moving to Plateau 4 LMS will make regulatory compliance easier and allow The Blood Center’s administrators and staff to better manage their training requirements.

“We expect that proving our completed training in federally mandated areas will be a fast and simple process with Plateau 4 LMS,” said McGraw. “It’s also important that our employees will be able to access their training plans directly, and that managers can review their staff’s overall training status online, instead of coming to us for reports. That saves time for workers, trainers and administrators, and saves money for the organization.”

McGraw said Plateau 4 LMS will also help ensure that Gulf Coast complies with the FDA’s stringent new rules on electronic records, known as 21 CFR Part 11. The regulation outlines several controls for maintaining the accuracy and integrity of online documents, such as security measures, auditable archives, e-signatures and time/date stamps. Several FDA-regulated pharmaceutical and medical device companies are using Plateau 4 LMS to satisfy Part 11 and GMP rules, and the American Red Cross is deploying Plateau 4 LMS nationwide.

In addition to instructor-led training, Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center has developed its own Web-based training content in required areas such as OSHA, blood-borne pathogens and hazardous materials, along with routine updates and tests on process changes. These will now be delivered via Plateau 4 LMS, along with future courses on Good Manufacturing Practices.

“Like the rest of America’s Blood Centers, Gulf Coast is a critical link in the life-saving safety net, both in emergencies and on a daily basis,” said Paul Sparta, Plateau’s chairman and CEO. “We’re very pleased that one of the nation’s leading blood centers has chosen Plateau 4 LMS to help keep that system in top form.”

About Plateau: Plateau’s enterprise-class software provides the infrastructure to manage all of an organization’s learning and knowledge and enhance its intellectual supply chain. Plateau 4 Learning Management System

(LMS) schedules, launches and tracks online and offline learning events, and is built on open, J2EE/EJB architecture. Plateau’s global clients include the American Red Cross, Wendy’s International, Federal Express, the Internal Revenue Service, Nestle USA and the U.S. Air Force. The company was founded in 1996, and is headquartered in Arlington, Virginia. Plateau’s news releases, electronic press kits, media and sales contacts are available at