Evaluating Tissue Tracking Technology Solutions Part 1:

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 will release notes 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.

Case Study: Challenges With Current Tissue Tracking Solutions and Processes

Blind Customer Overview:

o   Size and procedure volume: A 396 bed comprehensive center for pediatric healthcare located in the North Eastern United States.  The medical center performs over 25,000 surgical procedures a year along with nearly 200,000 radiological examinations each year.

o   Current Tracking Technology in Use: Manual, Push button and keyboard equipped  procedure station

o   Existing IT Applications: Peoplesoft ERP

Key Tissue Tracking Goals & Challenges posed to iRIS Labs

Goal: The Hospital was having an extremely difficult time meeting Joint Commission tissue tracking documentation requirements with their current tracking technology in place.  They desired one simple and complete solution in order to provide the simplest workflow to there staff.

Challenge 1: How do I get my staff to enter item level data for each transaction?

i. Achieving item level or “serialized” tracking for each tissue.  The current system has the ability to track at this level but end users are currently missing charges due to the need to manually enter Serial #.

Challenge 2: How do we efficiently track “high volume” cases such as breast tissue procedures.

i. As many as 30 tissues may need to be removed for a high volume procedure

ii. Nurse currently spends up to 30 minutes removing and document tissue if done correctly

iii. Typically multiple tissues will be “returned” to storage per case.  Nurse may spend an additional 20 – 30  minutes correctly returning item to inventory and removing it from the patient’s record

Challenge 3:  How do we accurately track frozen & refrigerated allograft tissue using our existing appliances?

i. Because of the high costs required to develop or purchase a specialized “RFID Fridge or Cryo Freezer” Mobile Aspects was asked to leverage the customer’s existing equipment.

Challenge 4: How do we provide our OR managers with Joint Commission Compliance Audit reports in a simple manner?

i. Ideally complete, bi-directional audit histories of each implantable tissue will be available in a web based report at all times.

View Part 2 Here:  Technology Analysis & Conclusions

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