Edward Hospital’s new patient safety technology detects and prevents retained surgical sponges, gauze and towels
Edward Hospital is the first hospital in the Chicago area to adopt an innovative radio frequency (RF) detection system for tracking and locating surgical sponges to safeguard its patients in the operating room.
|Greg Grant, MD, chair of the surgery
department, Edward Hospital and
general surgeon, DuPage Surgical
Consultants, scans a patient
with Edward's RF sponge detection
system following surgery.
Called the RF Surgical Detection System, this patented and FDA-approved technology uses a scanning wand that detects and sounds an alert if any radio frequency-tagged surgical sponges remain in a patient following surgery.
Retained surgical objects are one of the leading patient safety concerns in U.S. hospitals and throughout the world. A study in the New England Journal of Medicine reported that a retained sponge incident occurs in one out of every 1,000 to 1,500 intra-abdominal operations, making it the most frequent and costly of the "sentinel events" – medical errors that result in an unexpected death or a serious physical or psychological injury.
"The RF Surgical Detection System provides an added layer of security to our already stringent patient safety practices," explains Kim Stache, administrative director of surgical services at Edward Hospital, which began using the system in December 2009. "Using this new technology with our traditional tracking methods adds very little time or effort to the surgical process. Our surgeons and nurses have been impressed by the system's ease of use and its detection accuracy and range. It not only safeguards the patient, but provides the entire surgical team with the confidence that nothing has been left behind."
The RF Surgical Detection System is being used in more than 100 hospitals in the U.S., with another 30 expected to add the system in early 2010.
The RF Surgical Detection System consists of three components: a 24-hour reusable Blair-Port Wand, a compact, self-calibrating console and a micro radio frequency tag. A micro RF tag is embedded into a variety of surgical gauze, sponges and towels. When the system is activated and the wand is passed over a patient prior to closing procedures, an audible and visual alarm immediately signals the presence of any retained object(s) fitted with a tag.
The technology does not replace other surgical procedures currently practiced in the OR, but will provide additional patient safety precautions. The RF Surgical Detection System was developed by Dr. Jeffrey Port, a thoracic surgeon and Mr. William Blair, an electrical engineer.
Naperville, Illinois (IL) - Edward Hospital and Health Services