A surgeon’s nightmare is an event that should never happen. Enter SurgiCount’s Safety-Sponge™ System which consists of individually bar-coded surgical sponges and an easy-to-use portable scanner that validates traditional hand sponge counts.
From their website and press release:
Essentially, the system works much like a grocery store check-out counter – every laparotomy and gauze sponge is pre-labeled with an individual and unique bar code (in this instance, a 2-D data matrix label) and a scanning SurgiCounter is used to read the labels. Unlike other technologies, there is no major change in a hospital’s established AORN (The Association of Perioperative Registered Nurses) manual counting practices and procedures. And no other technology can offer documented time stamps of when every item was counted in and out.
When using the system, staff concurrently scan sponges during their manual counts or can scan the items before or after the manual count. The SurgiCounters can be held by the circulator, or can be placed on a holster on an IV pole in a hands-free mode. By scanning in the unique labels, the system builds a database of items used in that particular procedure. At the end of the procedure when the circulator is counting out the sponges, the circulator will again swipe the sponge under the SurgiCounter, this time in order to “count” the sponge out of the database. Because each sponge has a unique bar code, the system automatically alerts the staff in case they have accidentally tried to count the same sponge twice. This assists the staff in validating that they have an accurate count in case the there was a manual counting error.
Because the SurgiCounter is in a fact a mobile computer and every sponge is uniquely identified, the system is able to record and document the entire procedure. Every item’s size, unique ID code and time in and out is time stamped, documented and archived. The software also captures the opening staff as well as the closing staff.
Reports can be printed immediately with special printers that also act as rechargers or can be archived and printed later through a Windows-based desktop application that allows the consolidation of all reports done on one or all of a hospital’s SurgiCounters. Reports can be exported from the database in XML for import into a hospital’s paperless management system.
"We are very pleased to have implemented the System into our first New York based hospital. The Safety-Sponge System continues to gain national acceptance. Our current customer base has enjoyed knowing that the System works and is extremely reliable. They find it to be a safe, simple and cost effective solution to retained surgical sponges. We estimate that our SurgiCount Safety-Sponge(TM) System has successfully been used in over 200,000 procedures without a single report of a retained surgical sponge," says Rick Bertran, President of SurgiCount Medical. "Based upon a comparison to published data, our sponge tracking system appears to significantly reduce the possibility of a retained sponge during a medical procedure. This success, combined with an overall increase in public awareness of patient safety concerns, leads us to believe that other large institutions will soon adopt our surgical sponge patient safety solution." With over 4,000 potential institutions and 45,000 operating rooms nationally, that are subject to this "never event" we feel there is a significant opportunity to expand our leadership in this market.
Press release: First New York Hospital Adopts the SurgiCount Medical Safety-Sponge(TM) System…
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Product page: SurgiCounter…