Why a global donor identifier? (GRID)

With over 36 million donors worldwide, it is important to have a system that uniquely identifies potential donors on a global scale. This helps to:

  • reduce the risk of misidentification of donors or their donations due to the lack of global uniqueness of identifiers;
  • provide a standard machine-readable format (barcodes) that can be used by computer systems; and
  • define a standard presentation for the human-readable identifier.

To this end, WMDA has developed a unique global donor identifier to ensure secure, reliable and unambiguous assignment of donors: the Global Registration Identifier for Donors (GRID).

The purpose of the GRID is to:

  1. Reduce the risk of misidentification of hematopoietic stem cell donors, due to the lack of global uniqueness of identifiers;
  2. Provide a standard eye-readable format for the donor identifier that can be used by humans;
  3. Provide a standard machine-readable format for the donor identifier that can be used by computer systems;
  4. Provide a check sum for transcription control;
  5.  Provide consistent documentation;
  6.  Improve traceability of donors.

All organisations involved in the process of recruiting, facilitating and providing haematopoietic stem cells from volunteer donors have implemented or are in the process of implementing GRID. Established systems such as ISBT-128 or Single European code (SEC), which standardize the terminology, identification, coding and labelling of medical products of human origin, serve as the basis for GRID.

WMDA has established a partnership with the International Council for Commonality in Blood Bank Automation (ICCBBA) to manage and maintain the GRID.

Status of the project

From 15th December 2020 GRID must be fully implemented for all organisations and will be the only donor identifier to be shown in the search & Match Service. Final references to the old donor ID will no longer be visible within the Search & Match Service and should be discontinued. WMDA acknowledges that on a registry level, the current donor IDs will never fully be removed and must be maintained for historical traceability and quality. The expectation is that use of these IDs in daily processes and communications (technical and operational) are discontinued. Continued use of multiple IDs is inherently a risk of misidentification and miscommunication.

Quick links:

What is GRID?

  • Publication explaining GRID: Global Registration Identifier for Donors (GRID) of Hematopoietic Stem Cells: Road to Automation and Safety

Implement GRID in your registry

Technical details about GRID

Operational tools

GRID has improved electronic communication, traceability, and accuracy  in unambiguously identifying potential donors by standardizing systems of donor identification across the globe.