Surgical Precision: RFID’s Advantages vs. Bar Codes

Roswell-on-surgical-tray-300x204Next week Xerafy will exhibit at the AORN Surgical Conference & Expo, which is the second of three shows where we are demonstrating our tags and partners that support surgical instrument and tray tracking (We’ve already been to HIMSS and have the International Association of Healthcare Central Service Materiel Management (IAHCSMM) event coming up in May).

We’re being invited to these events because RFID provides breakthrough functionality compared to the manual and bar code tracking methods that are typically used for tracking materials in sterilization processes and operating rooms. Here is a brief summary of some of the value RFID brings to these process:

  • Unlike bar codes, RFID tags require no direct line of site to read. That means the items can be identified and tracked by an unattended reader, or when they are covered by other objects. These capabilities make tracking more comprehensive and prevent items from becoming lost or unaccounted for.
  • RFID does not require an operator to physically scan an item. This is another big time saver, especially compared to having to aim a bar code reader at a tiny 2D bar code.
  • RFID can locate items when their location is unknown – this helps keep surgical instruments available when and where they are needed, and helps prevent unintended retention of foreign object (URFO) incidents.
  • Xerafy tags can be washed, sterilized and reused hundreds of time without affecting performance. Bar codes may fade or otherwise fail under the same conditions.

So far, most hospitals that have automated their surgical tray and instrument tracking are using bar codes. That’s mostly because reliable tags that could withstand sterilization were not readily available. Xerafy is changing that with Roswell and our other healthcare tags. As Janice Hardrath, CTO of Xerafy’s partner Censis Technologies said recently: “With Xerafy bringing sterilizable RFID tags to the market that are specifically engineered for surgical trays and instruments, I think we are going to see more adoption.”

RFID Asset Tracking Keeps Luge Carts Safe

Skyline lugeThe Skyline Luge sends riders hurtling down a concrete track just inches off the ground in an open cart. Is it a sled? Is it a go kart? After reaching the bottom of the hill, riders just know it is fun – see for yourself in this video. The ride is thrilling, but it is also safe because each custom cart is inspected and maintained on a rigorous schedule with the help of an RFID asset tracking system from Times-7 and Xerafy.

Skyline Enterprises created the luge carts and operates tracks in Singapore, New Zealand, Canada and South Korea. Riders take a chair lift to the top of the course and ride down in the metal carts, which experience vibration, bumps and the occasional collision along the way. Carts used and stored outside in conditions ranging from the cold and snow in Calgary to the constant heat and humidity in Singapore. Continue reading

Make the Safe Choice for RFID MRO and FOD Solutions

3-roeder-prazisionWe’ve all forgotten to put a tool away after completing a project. When it happens at your house it’s an inconvenience, because the next time you need the tool you spend time searching for it. Lost tools become very dangerous when they are left behind in the aerospace, energy or other safety-sensitive industries. Lost tools cause millions of dollars in damage to airplane engines. A metal tool left in the wrong place in a nuclear power plant could cause a shutdown.

Today many organizations are studying how RFID tool tracking can improve safety by automating foreign object detection (FOD) and support other maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) processes. For example, last year the International Air Transport Association (IATA) issued Guidance on Introducing RFID Into Airline Maintenance Operations, and GS1 Europe reported results of an RFID MRO improvement project in the European railway industry. Continue reading

Tool Tracking – A Beneficial Solution for Many Industries

tool trackingTools are vital to any industrial operation. Whether on a construction site or in an aircraft hangar, the ability to quickly access, use, return and track tools on a day-to-day, shift-to-shift schedule is critically important.

The advent of RFID in the tool tracking process — using specialized tools cribs and passive UHF read-on-metal tags that can withstand the rugged nature of industrial deployments —is substantially improving both the accuracy and the effectiveness of tool tracking applications across industries. Continue reading

CoreRFID Tracks IT Assets at UK College with Titanium Metal Skin

Xerafy partner CoreRFID, an RFID  solution provider that specialized in developing and delivering RFID-based systems, recently rolled out a solution for tracking IT assets at a UK college utilizing Xerafy’s Titanium Metal Skin.

Warwickshire College, located in the West Midlands region of England, turned to CoreRFID to help implement a new system for auditing the college’s IT assets. The college’s original system for managing IT assets was based on printed labels. Serial numbers from the labels were transcribed manually to spreadsheets creating a record of what equipment was where in the college. The audit process of checking labels and updating spreadsheets was both time consuming and prone to error, causing unnecessary costs and providing inaccurate information on the whereabouts of asset.

CoreRFID proposed a system using ultra high frequency (UHF) RFID tags attached to the assets. These carry an identity code that can be linked to each specific asset and can be read quickly and accurately by a handheld computer. The technology selected for the system included a compact, robust, handheld computer (the ATiD AB700) to could capture the details of assets and their location together with specialized tags designed specifically to cope with the challenges of IT asset tagging.  Continue reading