Evaluating Tissue Tracking Technology Solutions Part 2:

Intro: iRIS Labs is a Clinical Workflow Technology team consisting of biomedical & software engineers, field based customer support representatives and clinical workflow analysts. These Mobile Aspects employees are focused on developing and successfully implementing RFID and Barcode supply tracking technologies in the surgical areas of hospitals. Periodically the Intelligent Radio-frequency Information Systems or “iRIS” engineers at Mobile Aspects contribute notes to “The Pulse” about ongoing or completed projects in the form of a “blind case study”. The studies are designed to raise awareness and better prepare healthcare providers whom are investigating the use of UID (Unique Identifiers) such as RFID or Bar-code to deliver safe and efficient patient care.

Continued From Case Study: Challenges With Current Tissue Tracking Solutions and Processes Part 1:

Current State Technology Analysis: Manual Technology Creates “News Paper Dilemma”

The newspaper dilemma refers to a mechanism which relies on human compliance or integrity to function properly. For example, I can insert a quarter to access the newspaper dispenser but the dispenser has no way to enforce how many papers I will remove. Fortunately the newspaper dispenser is used to track a high volume supply which carries no risk or requirements for the customer. This dilemma is evident when “manual tracking technology” such as cabinets which rely on “push button” or barcode scanner technology is used to meet Joint Commission Tissue Tracking Requirements.

The primary concern with applying a “manual tracking technology” to a process which requires as much accuracy & documentation as tissue tracking lies in the additional steps required of the nurses.

Identifying the problem steps:

  • Tissue “Take” requires manual entry of quantity
  • Tissue “Take” requires manual selection of product code or serial#
  • User must identify “patient” during BOTH the take & return workflows

It is no secret that more steps for the end user will result in lower levels of accuracy, now the challenge becomes even more evident when we consider the nature of a high volume tissue case. Each of the steps above represents a potential chance for error, add these additional steps up to account for hundreds of procedures requiring the removal & return of multiple tissues for each case and what do you get? A whole lot of manual reconciliation and work for your organizations tissue tracking coordinator.

Desired Workflow

The desired workflow will eliminate all unnecessary or “duplicate” steps for the end users, while still providing a Joint Commission Compliant report of each tissue via a web based application.

The Power of iRIS RFID

By applying a unique RFID label to each tissue as it is received we simplify the process by doing the “tracking” once upfront during receipt & packaging inspection. Once the label is applied it can be placed in any iRIS RFID supply cabinet and tracked at the item level. The primary benefit of iRIS is the elimination of these inefficient steps as users can take/return items freely and the system will automatically update PAR levels, time stamp the transaction & either debit/credit the tissues usage against a patient. Additionally, real time alerts & web reporting will enable tissue coordinators to efficiently locate any missed tissue charges, manage expiration, product recalls as well as quickly bring up the complete history of any tissue from receipt through usage/disposal.

Conclusions Summary

Manual Technology Will Result in Missed Charges

  • High take/return volume tissue cases provide a time consuming challenge to meeting Joint Commission standards. o Real Time Alerts +Accountability Solves Frozen Tissue Tracking Inaccuracies

Real Time Alerts +Accountability Solves Frozen Tissue Tracking Inaccuracies

Need to deploy “Complete Tissue Management System”

  • RFID Secure Cabinet Storage
  • Web Based Tissue Management Application
  • Reports: Joint Commission mandated bi-directional tracking of every tissue from receipt through implantation is always available.
  • Automatic update of PAR’s & Reorder Interface