Pioneering radio frequency identification (RFID) theatre kitting technology, which streamlines the management of theatre supplies, could help reduce the elective surgery backlog caused by COVID-19.
The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) is warning that the waiting list for treatment or non-urgent surgery could rise to 14m by the end of 2022. The UK government has also pegged the use of new technology and innovative ways of working as a key driving force to help the NHS to tackle growing waiting lists and treat around 30% more patients who need elective care by 2023 to 2024.
In any acute hospital, preparing materials for scheduled and emergency procedures takes up a lot of clinical time. RFiD Discovery – part of Paragon ID, a global leader in identification solutions – has introduced a “Gold Standard” material management solution enabling theatre consumables to be delivered to the point of use.
Utility of RFID
RFiD Discovery, the UK’s leading location tracking specialist for healthcare, say its pioneering integrated ‘theatre kitting’ solution can help to relieve some of the pressure. The technology allows theatre teams to have the correct equipment at their fingertips, helping to improve efficiency and quality of care.
RFiD Discovery’s pioneering ‘theatre kitting’ solution frees clinical staff to spend more time on patient care. It also reduces the risk of picking incorrect products or having insufficient supply of key items readily available. By improving efficiency, the technology can also bring important cost savings to hospitals, as well as helping to reduce waste – ultimately allowing hospitals to be as “lean” as possible.
The RFiD Discovery theatre inventory management system is designed to track items used for operations with passive RFID labels. Clinical staff curate a custom list of required equipment for specific types of operations, which is captured on the system and used to create the procedure kits. The actual packing of equipment is carried out by a central kitting team.
The technology has already been successfully implemented at one of the largest hospitals in the UK – where it has been instrumental in freeing up time for clinical staff, optimising stock holding and minimising waste. Theatre kitting processes are now used for all of the trust’s theatres. Due to reducing waste and the number of items used for each operation, the hospital has also been able to reduce the per-case cost.
Simon Dawkins, lead RFID consultant at RFiD Discovery, explains: “Working in an operating theatre can be pretty stressful and challenging, – meeting the needs of patients, the demands of surgeons and facing the limits of time itself. With the present situation of staff shortages across the NHS, there has never been a more crucial time than now to allow clinical staff to focus on their job, and more importantly, improve patient care and safety. Our transformational service is designed to do just that.”
Source: RFID Discovery