Xerafy Honored at Frost & Sullivan Best Practices Award Gala in Nashville for its Surgical Instrument Tracking

“Xerafy is uniquely positioned to deliver the complete capabilities that hospitals are looking for to improve patient safety, reduce costs, augment revenues, and ensure regulatory compliance.” – Venkat Rajan, Frost & Sullivan Global Director.Click here for the full press release.
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Best Practices Award went to Xerafy for RFID Surgical Instrument Tracking 

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Award acceptance speech by Xerafy

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North American Health Data Warehousing Product Leadership Award to OracleFrost and Sullivan-191-L

Global Automated Nucleic Acid Extraction New Product Innovation to BioMérieux

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Global Network Firewall Market Leadership Award to Cisco Systems

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A very cheerful evening

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Group picture with fellow award recipients

Case study at UT Medical Center on ROI of item-level RFID tracking

Very comprehensive presentation by UT Medical Center at the RAIN RFID Alliance Meeting in Seattle on the implementation of item-level RFID tracking in OR, expired supplies, preference cards…

1 – How it all started: A very large variety of medical supplies but “We didn’t have the data that we needed!”
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2 – Returned and Expired items presented huge improvement opportunities
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3 – Less traffic in OR means reduced infection risks and surgical mistakes
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4 – Reasons for RFID adoption, a healthcare provider’s perspective
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5 – Automated documentation at the point-of-care
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6 – What items to track: Some Return On Experience
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7 – UDI serial number, you have to automate this
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RFID and the Digital Transformation of Healthcare

 

As more healthcare providers undergo digital transformation initiatives, RFID technology can help meet the need for greater visibility into instrument tracking and sterilization

Hospitals are increasingly Comp_3049381247transforming into “smart” healthcare facilities with digital management processes, and RFID can play a large role in these efforts.

According to an IDC report in Healthcare IT News, this digital transformation is expected to expand rapidly in 2017. Over the next year, the percentage of providers actively executing digital transformation initiatives will jump from 10% to 42%.

Increased availability and analysis of patient data and other information is at the heart of this movement. This overview of Boston-based Partners Healthcare’s $1.2 billion electronic health record implementation will give you a glimpse of the complexity. The hospital system has hired hundreds of IT staff to manage the transition, which will take place over several years.

Automated tracking of medical devices and surgical instruments is part of this shift. Driving the need for better tracking and visibility is an increased focus on accuracy in the central sterile/ sterile processing department (CS/SPD). Xerafy has been a leading proponent of using technology (specifically RFID) to improve CS/SPD operations. (You can learn more about our healthcare solutions and customers here.)

According to Steven Adams, IAHCSMM president, sterilization departments are being pressed to complete cleaning/sterilization more quickly and provide greater documentation. Without the right resources, though, “[current] expectations perpetuate inaccurate set assembly, inefficient cleaning practices, and redundancy in reprocessing to redo sets due to errors, and increases frustration of the OR teams when they consistently receive incorrect trays.”

CS/SPD staff are tasked with cleaning an increasingly complex array of equipment. Updated standards have been developed for quality management and sterilization, but manual documentation can still bog down this process and lead to errors.

That’s where RFID comes in. Harvard Business Review published an informative overview of the Mayo Clinic’s Saint Marys Hospital, detailing how the facility used RFID to improve asset and inventory management. The article also offers a list of valuable tips for ensuring a successful RFID deployment in a healthcare setting.

What challenges does your healthcare organization face that can be addressed through improved visibility and greater access to data? How can RFID play a role? Continue the conversation in our comments section below.

Tool Tracking, FODs: How early adopters in Aviation MRO have influenced other industries

Aviation MRO has been an early adopter for RFID tool tracking solutions, setting the standard for how other industries can address their own tracking, safety and productivity challenges.tool tracking

Managing tools and equipment is critical in aviation. Recently when a Chinese MRO technician left his headset after performing some routine work on a landing gear, there were luckily no operational consequences; the plane landed safely at its destination and the headset was recovered.

The consequences could have been worse. At $13 billion annually, the estimated annual cost of FODs (Foreign Object Damage) in the aviation industry is receiving increased attention. In an industry where margins have been historically thin and where safety is of paramount importance, the pressure is building to find operational solutions. It comes as no surprise then that the aviation industry includes a number of early adopters of tool tracking and management solutions aimed at preventing material and human accidents, production incidents, late deliveries, and more.

With ATA’s Spec 2000 update encompassing RFID technology, the aviation industry paved the way for effective technology solutions by creating a framework for its supply chain, standardizing information between manufacturers, airlines, maintenance companies and other parts suppliers. Other industries have been watching closely and are now looking for solutions to their own safety and productivity challenges, with strong interest observed in MRO for railways, power generation, as well as oil and gas.

The challenges they meet will sound very familiar to MRO and aviation veterans:
● High labor costs
● High risk of FODs
● Cost of replacing missing or stolen tools
● Loss of usage and maintenance data
● Absence of real-time management

Implementing and managing a tool tracking solution comes with its own challenges, and return on experience in the aviation industry helps identify some low-hanging fruit that can result in fast improvements:
● Manual record-keeping and paperwork
● Human errors and lost records
● Lack of real-time visibility
● Low-efficiency single item scanning
● Barcode labels that are easily damaged or rendered unreadable

Join the conversation: What are the most pressing challenges to your MRO operations?

Seven Steps to EU UDI Success

Comp_3021844937As requirements for unique device identification (UDI) as specified by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) enter their latter stages, UDI activity in the European Union is just ramping up.

This version of UDI is part of the Medical Device Regulation (MDR) document, and will be harmonized with GS1’s global standards, which are also accredited with the U.S. FDA.

As is the case in the U.S., UDI can be leveraged to help improve asset tracking and traceability for both internal and external supply chain and asset optimization activities. That creates value far beyond simple regulatory compliance. According to this article at MedTech Intelligence, one global device manufacturer said that label standardization via UDI reduced duplicate items/SKUs by 15%.

Xerafy offers UDI-compliant RFID solutions for medical devices, including durable, autoclavable RFID tags that can be used for identifying and tracking surgical instruments and other devices in a hospital setting.

UDI compliance was the subject of a recent conference in Brussels in May focused on applying lessons learned from the FDA implementation in the U.S. to European companies. In addition, the GS1 conference in Berlin in April featured a number of helpful UDI sessions that you can access here.

One particularly helpful sessions led by bioMerieux outlined the steps necessary for compliance.

Stakeholders have until May 2020 to comply with the MDR/UDI requirements or risk losing their CE-mark certification or access to the EU market for their devices. To prepare, manufacturers should:

* Evaluate their product portfolio to see which products fall under MDR, or whether those products have had a classification change

* Ensure those products are compliant with the new requirements both in terms of labeling and performance/clinical evidence documentation.

* Evaluate your existing data quality, and establish a method of creating a single, central source of accurate product data.

* Establish a process to review your labeling, make adjustments to meet the new requirements, and then ensure that the new labels are properly deployed across each class of device.

* Prepare to submit data to the EUDAMED database in Europe. UDI data will be exchangeable between EUDAMEND and the GUDID database in the U.S.

* Investigate your labeling options. Will there be size limitations? Can you correctly print the necessary labels? Can using RFID (or a combination of RFID and barcodes) improve the labeling process or provide downstream benefits?

* Start early. There will be as much as four years’ of transition time after the initial deadline, but all products must comply with the MDR; changes made to pre-MDR products after the deadline can create additional challenges for manufacturers.

Are you affected by the EU’s new UDI requirements? Xerafy’s RFID solutions can help you meet UDI requirements in both the U.S. and in Europe. Contact us with your labeling compliance questions here.