FDA-approved SurgiChip to help eliminate wrong-site, wrong-patient, wrong-procedure surgeries

Cheshire 27 April 2005AMTSystems, a provider of automatic identification solutions in the health care industry, will launch several new pilot programmes for SurgiChip, the market's first FDA-approved RFID verification system to help prevent wrong-patient, wrong-procedure and wrong-site surgeries.


"With The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) reporting five to eight wrong-site surgeries a month, SurgiChip addresses a true market need in helping to decrease medical errors", stated Todd Stewart, AMTSystems vice president of business development. "Once the FDA approved this technology, the market demand was very apparent. Since obtaining approval, we have received interest from close to 100 health care organisations from around the world."

One organisation that has been actively testing SurgiChip is the Palm Beach Orthopedic Institution, a leading orthopedic health care facility located in Palm Beach, Florida. One of its top surgeons, Mr. Frank Cook, M.D., was instrumental in heading up the pilot programme, which has proven to help decrease surgical errors and improve patient satisfaction. In just a few months, the facility has conducted over 100 surgical procedures using SurgiChip.

"SurgiChip helps to improve patient confidence that our medical staff is taking all the precautions and safety checks necessary to ensure the correct procedure is done, in the correct location, with no mistakes", stated Dr. Cook. "The medical staff at the Palm Beach Orthopedic Institution has been very receptive to SurgiChip's three-step verification process that ensures confirmation of patient and procedure information prior to surgery."

SurgiChip was the brainchild of a renowned orthopaedic surgeon in Palm Beach Florida, Mr. Bruce Waxman, M.D. Dr. Waxman saw a need for another safety check prior to starting surgical procedures. The surgeon's idea was made a reality by both AMTSystems and Zebra Technologies, a global expert in on-demand printing solutions for business improvement. AMTSystems develops the software and integration tools for this technology, and Zebra provides the RFID printers/encoders, smart labels and specially designed RFID media.

With these combined technologies, SurgiChip is able to encode patient and procedure information into the RFID tag such as patient name, procedure, surgical site, etc. The RFID tags are then read by handheld readers to confirm patient and surgery information prior to surgery. This system is also HIPAA compliant, ensuring that patient data stored on the tags is secure.

SurgiChip is part of AMTSystems PatientSafe suite of products that helps ensure patient safety at the point-of-care. AMTSystems offers an array of patient safety solutions for areas such as positive patient identification, medication verification, transfusion verification and specimen collection. These solutions help health care organisations comply with industry mandates and regulations while improving patient safety.

AMTSystems is a provider of automatic identification solutions in the health care arena and has been providing innovative products to hospitals since 1988.

Leslie Versweyveld

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