Two Minnesota institutions advance RFID technologies in health care

Saint Paul 02 January 20073M and Mayo Clinic have demonstrated a successful pilot programme with the installation of a state-of-the-art radio frequency identification (RFID) system in Mayo Clinic's endoscopy surgical suites, where patient tissue samples are collected. 3M researchers visited Mayo Clinic's facilities to learn about their processes and systems requirements and established a solution that worked in Mayo Clinic's operations for specimen management.

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Utilizing 3M Track and Trace Technology, this RFID system enhances Mayo Clinic's ability to manage specimen and tissue samples from the collection stage to the pathology laboratory. Collecting and analysing patient tissue is a crucial medical procedure.

Mayo Clinic continues to take a leadership role in health care's effort focused on patient safety and care. Multiple 3M technologies were brought forward during the five-month pilot project at Mayo Clinic. Results demonstrated quantifiable operational efficiencies in the specimen-management process, accurate communication of data, and verification of information. Expansion of the Track and Trace system within the endoscopy practice will take place in planned, controlled phases. 3M and Mayo Clinic expect this roll-out to be completed in early 2007.

"3M's solution benefits our patients by ensuring efficient and accurate transfer of collected specimen data to our pathologists, who ultimately analyse and diagnose these important specimens", stated Schuyler Sanderson, M.D. gastro-intestinal and liver pathologist. "Putting the needs of the patient first and striving to optimize patient safety are utmost in the work we do."

The system is a major application comprising RFID tags, RFID readers, software applications and system-integration technologies. 3M's Track and Trace solution is at the forefront of innovative, enabling technologies developed to address the identification, location, and management needs surrounding high-value assets in health care.

"Our focus was to provide an enabling technology and system solution that would be in keeping with Mayo Clinic's stature and leadership in medicine", stated Michael Hansberry, senior business development manager for 3M Track and Trace Solutions. "By combining 3M's expertise in RFID, user-centred software application development and systems integration, we did just that."

"This pilot has produced successful results, and we see exciting possibilities in numerous health care-related areas", noted Lem Amen, vice president, 3M Track and Trace Solutions.

3M Track and Trace Solutions is implementing a broad range of applications as diverse as protecting the integrity of prescription drugs while they are in the supply chain, locating and optimizing cathodes in mining facilities, and tracking aircraft parts through the work flow process.

Mayo Clinic is the first and largest integrated, not-for-profit group practice in the world. Doctors from every medical speciality work together to care for patients, joined by common systems and a philosophy of "the needs of the patient come first". More than 2500 physicians and scientists and 42.000 allied health staff work at Mayo Clinic, which has sites in Rochester, Minnesota; Jacksonville, Florida; and Scottsdale/Phoenix, Arizona. Collectively, the three locations treat more than half a million people each year.

Every day, 3M people find new ways to make amazing things happen. Wherever they are, whatever they do, the company's customers know they can rely on 3M to help make their lives better. 3M's brands include Scotch, Post-it, Scotchgard, Thinsulate, Scotch-Brite, Filtrete, Command and Vikuiti. Serving customers in more than 200 countries around the world, the people of 3M use their expertise, technologies and global strength to lead in major markets including consumer and office; display and graphics; electronics and telecommunications; safety, security and protection services; health care; industrial and transportation. More company news can be found in the VMW August 2006 article United States Army awards contract to 3M for pilot RFID programme to track and manage medical records at Fort Hood.


Leslie Versweyveld

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