Implant tracking with smart cabinets

Capture data about each implant automatically, quickly and accurately, to improve patient safety, save time and cut costs

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To ensure patient safety and enable fast and efficient product recalls, GS1 stipulates that each surgical implant like all other medical devices should be identifiable by batch number and even uniquely by serial number.  
 
The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the European Commission and other regulators have developed legislation for Unique Device Identification (UDI), and are aiming for a globally harmonised and consistent approach aligned on the U.S. IMDRF Guidelines.
 
Adding RFID technology to the use of barcodes or numerical information enables healthcare providers to carry out Automatic Identification and Data Capture (AIDC) to improve patient safety, safe time and cut costs. 
 

How does implant tracking work?

Our RFID implant tracking solution uses smart cabinets and handheld readers to automatically track surgical implants from receipt to storage and right up to the point of being implanted into the patient.

 

passive rfid tag

Tagging the implants

To identify each item, the packaging of the implant is fitted with an RFID label which is then registered against the hospital database with its type, size and unique device identifier number (UDI).

smart cabinet

The Smart Cabinet

Smart cabinets are designed to only open for staff wearing a registered RFID badge. Once items have been removed, on closing, the cabinet does a ‘stock check’ and registers the removed items against the unique staff badge number. If items have been removed and then don’t appear as having been used, the system flags up this event to highlight that they might have been mislaid or stolen. This also makes this solution ideal for controlled drug management.

handheld rfid reader

Handheld readers

Handheld readers are used to register items on the database on delivery, pick the correct items in preparation for an operation like in a Theatre Kitting solution (link) and register the implant against the patient by scanning the patient wristband and then the implant device just before or during the procedure.

Benefits

Patient safety
  • Implants can be accurately tracked enabling efficient and effective recalls.
  • Ensuring the correct implant is ready for operation avoids unnecessary delays.
  • The system flags up if wrong implant has been picked for patient to avoid medical errors.
  • Costs can easily be recorded against each patient.
 
Improved stock management
  • Stock is monitored automatically in real-time 
  • Auto-replenishment means there is always enough stock in the right place at the right time
  • Effective management of use-by dates means less waste and substantial cost savings
  • Accurate data about current stock eliminates the need for just-in-case items so that stock holding can be reduced to free up capital.
  • Great for managing consignment stock which is held on sale or return basis to ensure that items which are not required are returned so no charge is incurred.
 
Increased accountability and time saving
  • The system automatically records which items been removed against each member of staff to increase accountability and detect any possible incidents of negligence or theft
  • Stock is monitored automatically saving time on manual stock checking
  • Picking the correct items for an operation is simpler and quicker as an RFID home-in function on the handheld reader can lead the user to a specific item in a store room.