Surgical Instrument Tracking in Hospital

couretesy freepik images
Sterilized Instruments in CSSD : photo credit – Freepik

Operation Room (OR) procedures are the most important aspect of a hospital’s operation. Availability, Quality and Traceability of surgical instruments are crucial for a surgeon in the OR. Often a surgical set may contain more than 200 instruments. A CSSD (Central Sterile Services Dept) personnel must meticulously arrange the sets, making sure no items are missing or mismatched. Tracking them manually such a large set of instruments, especially with heavy scheduling of the OR can be a challenge by itself if not a cause of costly human error.

Hospitals, reportedly, spend hundreds of thousands of dollars annually replacing missing instruments. Missing instruments apparently happen due to instruments mixed between sets, bad data on critical tray count sheets, leaving behind some instruments after operation etc and more.

Surgical retention are the cases when a surgical instrument is left inside patient’s body after operation. Surgical retention are a major cause of concern for any hospital as it can cause irreparable damage to patient as well as the Hospital.

A recent HealthCare Finance article observed, “when the count is performed manually, it leaves the door open for simple human error. And in up to 88 percent of cases involving surgical retention, the count was erroneously shown to be correct.”

 Surgical Instrument Tracking System

With automatic scanning and data capture capability, INDTRAC can reduce tracking error as well the time taken in each cycle. With special sterilization-safe RFID tag attached to each instrument, CSSD technician can audit the items checked in or checked out in seconds ( instead of minutes) with RFID reader fixed at the checkin/checkout counter.

A manual CSSD Check in / Check out Form

Checkin and Checkout Forms are generated automatically and stored digitally for later audits. System can match the checked-in set with checked-out set and raise alarms if any items are missing.

The system can also help in tracking usage cycle of each instrument. Every instrument typically comes with indicative usage cycles from its manufacturer. Precise count of usage cycles available at any time, enables the hospital to maintain rated quality of surgical instruments used.

Tracking actually helps hospital reduce cost

Many hospitals apparently shy away from implementing tracking system due to high cost of RFID Readers and software. However if one compares to the annual saving of the cost incurred in missing instruments, the cost for tracking system would be really a small fraction.

INDTRAC also employs minimal set of Readers reducing the cost on hardware. Our SaaS pricing ensures that software cost is never a concern for the Hospital.