Barcelona-area Hospital Manages Surgical Supplies Via SmartCabinet

August 12, 2014 Lea DeJarlais

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The Dyane SmartCabinet, provided by Palex Medical, is an RFID-enabled solution that tracks high-value products used in surgery, ensuring a hospital’s inventory count of instruments and supplies is always up to date. Consorci Sanitari de l’Anoia (Health Consortium of Anoia), a hospital located in Igualada, Spain, recently implemented the SmartCabinet for asset tracking and is working on rolling out the solution to seven other locations.

Prior to the cabinet’s implementation, the hospital managed surgical equipment manually, tracking usage via paperwork. This method required staff members to complete several steps, including creating paperwork for each event that occurs (for example, an instrument is removed from the cabinet), photocopying the paperwork, and sending copies to the ordering department to ensure replacement inventory is ordered. If not completed properly, the hospital could run out of the tools needed for surgery.

The hospital installed the SmartCabinet in its surgery unit, and uses it to store trocars, disposable laparoscopic instruments, pieces of mesh, laparoscopic staplers and other surgical items, all placed on trays behind locked doors. Each item stored in the cabinet features a UHF RFID tag. Inside each cabinet is an Impinj Speedway Revolution reader. As an item is placed inside the cabinet, the reader captures the ID number on the product’s tag. When a staff member scans their badge to open the cabinet, they select the patient that they’re collecting for and remove the items needed. The removed products are then linked to the patient. Once the door is closed, the cabinet’s reader captures all the RFID tag IDs, and compares the results against the inventory list. If any item is approaching its expiration date, or if a quantity of items drops below a preset threshold, the software forwards order data to the hospital’s management software.

The hospital hopes this new system will reduce costs of over-ordering supplies and reduce labor hours spent dealing with paperwork. Palex is currently seeking distributors worldwide.

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