Hospital-acquired infections, also known as nosocomial infections, are a major challenge for healthcare facilities around the world. These infections are often the result of mistakes in the operating theater, or improperly managed sterilization processes. Hospitals and other healthcare facilities are always searching for better solutions to decrease risk of nosocomial infections and lower the incidence of these potentially dangerous infections. And with the advent of the Internet of Things (IoT), new technology can help hospitals to improve their sterilization processes.
RFID has proven to be a good option for healthcare facilities when it comes to tracking sterilization and reducing the risk of infection. We’ve previously demonstrated how RFID can improve patient safety in our previous blogs about OR management, CSSD management, and the healthcare supply chain.
RFID technology simplifies these processes to ensure patient safety by automatically tracking surgical instruments. The RFID solution can record the connections among patients, devices or instruments, and staff, making it easy to know what instrument was used for which procedure. RFID also makes it more effective to track or recall devices, which improves patient trust. There are many hospitals that use RFID to save time, reduce the risk of mistakes, and improve medical safety.
Reusable devices and instruments have a high risk of nosocomial infection, so all instruments must be correctly washed and sterilized to ensure the safety of the patient. RFID can track the instrument from production, sourcing, storage, washing, sterilization, and patient-level usage. Even in the operating room, RFID solutions can provide individual information for every instrument. However, RFID can also alert to staff if an invalid device/instrument is present.
For the CSSD phase of washing and sterilization, RFID systems can be a reference guide for repackaging. Departments can search all of the information related to the surgery package. RFID can also alert the staff if the instruments didn’t complete the proper sterilization or other processes.
Another application for RFID is avoiding the risk of accidentally leaving instruments or gauze in a patients’ body after surgery. It takes very little time to find the instrument using an accurate RFID reader compared to manual searchers or X-rays. Moreover, the time spent counting instruments before and after procedures is also reduced.
To achieve UDI compliance, all surgical instruments should have individual tags to record and track the information above. Xerafy rugged and durable autoclavable tags for these instruments provide reliable performance even after 1,000 sterilization cycles. In one example, our RFID technology helped a hospital to save more than 30,000 hours, and reduce nosocomial infections related to surgical instruments to 0.
To learn more about how RFID can improve patient safety, please contact us or share your ideas below.
The oil and gas markets have been laboring under low prices for some time now, in part because of high production from OPEC nations. With the drop in revenue, oil and gas companies slowed their investments in new technologies, including RFID. However, investment in RFID may soon change.
In fact, there are signs that investors are bullish on oil and gas. According to Bloomberg, drillers and oilfield service companies raised $6.64 billion in 13 different equity offerings in January alone. “The mood is absolutely different,” said Trey Stolz, an analyst at the investment banking firm Coker & Palmer Inc. “Go back to a year ago and the knife was still falling. But today, it feels much, much better.”
That should be good news for investment in durable, on-metal RFID solutions like those offered by Xerafy. In 2015, Xerafy released the Xplorer tag, the first UHF ATEX-certified RFID tag for downhole pipe identification. It was designed to be embedded in downhole tubulars such as drill pipes, casings, and production tubing to track these items throughout their lifecycle.
These solutions will also leverage RFID and other wireless sensing technologies, which are a fast-growing segment. RSMarketInsights expects the global wireless sensors market to experience a 20.5 percent CAGR through 2021 because of demand in various industry segments (including oil and gas). Continue reading
The Internet of Things (IoT) is poised to revolutionize a number of industries – and the healthcare space is embracing the technology enthusiastically. According to the McKinsey Global Institute, by 2025 healthcare will account for nearly one-third of the $11.1 trillion market for distributed devices. RFID will play a leading role in this digital transformation of the healthcare industry.
By connecting medical devices like glucose meters, electrocardiogram machines, and other equipment, doctors and patients can more easily track important patient data. Remotely connecting these types of systems to the network can also make it easier for physicians to serve more patients – especially important in rural areas where there is often a shortage of primary care physicians.
In the hospital, even more “things” can be connected. Wheelchairs, IV pumps, medical devices, beds, and surgical tools can be linked to the network using durable RFID tags and sensor technology. Continue reading
According to the OR Business Management Conference 2017 website, “In today’s healthcare environment, meeting budget requirements, improving efficiencies and patient throughput, and making the best use of technology are among the daily challenges across facilities nationwide.”
We’ve blogged about these topics many times, discussing the increasing pressure on healthcare organizations and medical equipment suppliers to improve inventory visibility and accuracy. Healthcare companies need access to reliable technology in order to comply with new regulations, reduce costs, and improve patient outcomes. Xerafy and VUEMED have partnered to create a healthcare supply chain solution. The clinical data capture solution combines barcodes and UHF Gen2 Passive RFID and RAIN RFID technologies, in which Xerafy’s automatic identification solutions are combined with VUEMED’s cloud-based data reporting and analytics tools, as well as an FDA UDI-compliant product database.
Xerafy is excited to join VUEMED at this year’s OR Business Management Conference in New Orleans January 30 through February 2 to showcase our solutions for end-to-end tracking and management of medical devices, supplies, and autoclavable surgical instruments. VUEMED and Xerafy will be available in the exhibit hall at booth 23.
The companies will demonstrate the solution for tracking and documenting orthopedic trays, consumable orthopedic implants, as well as surgical instruments. The new solutions and functionalities are aimed at enabling efficient and easy-to-use documentation at the point of care, as well as securing patient safety by using tracking to ensure that no instruments or other RSI are left in the patient during procedure.
Further expansion of the Internet of Things (IoT) will profoundly affect the way consumers and companies interact with machines and products. Gartner estimates that the IoT will reach 26 billion installed internet-connected units by 2020, and create $300 billion in incremental and service revenues. Behind the scenes, the IoT is also going to strain the capacity of existing networks and data centers. Gartner and other analysts predict these data centers must undergo significant transformation in order to keep up with the demands of the IoT.
The IoT will leverage sensors, RFID, and high-speed wireless technology to create a data stream between assets/products and centralized management systems. In the enterprise, that connectivity can create new opportunities to monitor asset status, create proactive maintenance and repair processes, improve field service, add value to customer deployments, and generate new revenue streams.
Xerafy is already providing this type of connectivity for assets in the oil and gas industry (where our tags are used to monitor drilling equipment in harsh conditions), manufacturing, and healthcare. The RFID tags provide asset identification and equipment history data that, when combined with sensor information, can generate a complete picture of asset conditions. Continue reading