The use of radio frequency identification (RFID) in tracking surgical sponges and reducing wrong-site surgeries
Metadata[+] Show full item record
There has been some promising research in the use of RFID technology to ensure that medical sponges are not mistakenly left in surgical patients--estimated to occur once in every 10,000 open cavity surgeries. However, the issues of human error and retained sponges were raised during trials. I propose to research the possibility of having a continuously scanning RFID system. This system would eliminate the human interaction of the current handheld scanning devices. With the human interaction no longer a factor in the process, scanning the cavity too early to detect all of the sponges used or scanning at a distance too great for the tags to be read will no longer be of any concern. RFID tags also have the possibility to assist in decreasing the number of wrong-site surgery occurrences--estimated at one in every 112,994 operations. Each patient would have an RFID tag with a unique identification number corresponding to a database with his or her procedure information. The tag will be scanned when the patient enters the operating room and the corresponding information will then be displayed. The proof-of-concept research performed shows promising findings that it is possible to have a continuously scanning RFID system for the detection of surgical sponges. The paper also describes the development of a software program that utilizes RFID tags to increase the availability of information in the operating room to decrease the chances of wrong-site surgeries. Further development will need to be performed before either proposal can have a clinical trial.