How to improve visibility and efficiency in a busy sterilisation practice.

medical device tracking

This article is sponsored content brought to you by Whitecat.

On the 6th of October 2020, the government announced it will establish a Unique Device Identification (UDI) database for medical devices. To meet future legislative demands, practices will be required to track every reusable medical device and its UDI. The manual tracking of each medical device, will be arduous and a process that will elevate the associated costs in sterilisation. Caretag Surgical is a company with more than 30 years of experience in healthcare technology and has developed a solution to track surgical instruments to meet legislative demands. Together with Caretag, WHITECAT provides a complete medical tracking solution using hybrid technologies and integrations. The tracking solution will increase autonomy and digitise the process, to enable fast paced facilities to track instruments using a Radio Frequency Identification Tag (RFID). There is no requisite to eliminate the barcoding system. We are deeply focused on enhancing the complete process to increase visibility of every single instrument, drive efficiency and reduce costs over time. 

Minimalistic Design

Our minimalistic sleek designs offer all the required functionality without compromising on space. We provide a white medical grade touch screen monitor that is connected to a slim RFID scanner. To reduce unnecessary hardware our software is in the cloud. To ensure you stay focused on the practice, we apply the RFID tags to your inventory using Caretag’s patented adhesive technology. The tags are only a few millimetres in size, making it one of the world’s smallest RFID tags for instruments.

Never lose a UDI

Unlike datamatrix, our micro-RFID tag can store considerable information pertaining to the instrument. The encapsulation of the tag preserves its durability and ancient issues with fading of the datamatrix, are irrelevant. Therefore, facilities will not require to self-etch or re-etch instruments. Once the tag is applied, its survival exceeds the general life of an instrument, approximated at 2000 autoclave cycles.  Caretag’s real life testing has demonstrated the tag exceeds 2500 autoclave cycles.  This persistent visibility reduces the risks associated with the loss of historical data, legal preparation and presentation and retained surgical instrument incidents.

Packing efficiently drives throughput

We all know the old saying that time is money. One of the outcomes in a small study conducted by Caretag within a hospital sterilisation department in Geneva, measured the efficiency between using RFID on instruments versus datamatrix. In the RFID solution, efficiency was increased by 1.5 times. This alone, justified the initial costs of the RFID solution and its amortization over 3 years.

What more can be realised?

Data is becoming invaluable and prevalent in many of the items we procure. Each practice will come with its own data requirements, which is why the WHITECAT solution is customised to the client. The analytical outcomes within the software are limited to general use scenarios however, the data can be pushed to an analytical application using the API. To add value, WHITECAT could integrate to typical sterilisation equipment to streamline the data into a single source panel. 

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