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New Harvard Medical School Study Identifies RFID Technology to have the Potential to Substantially Improve Patient Safety by Reducing RSI Errors

The ORLocate system by Haldor Advanced Technologies (“Haldor”), a developer of radio frequency identification (RFID) enabled medical products and technologies, has been identified as the only RFID based system currently available in the market for the counting and tracking of both surgical instruments and sponges.

The objective of the study was to identify the impact of RFID technology on reducing RSI errors and improving patient safety and it was conducted by leading researchers from some of the predominant healthcare and patient safety organizations in the U.S., including: the Division of General Internal Medicine and Primary Care &,the Center for Patient Safety, both at Brigham and Women's Hospital; and Harvard Medical School; and the Bouvé College of Health Sciences, School of Nursing at the Northeastern University.

The study was published on February 22nd, 2017 in the renowned Journal of Patient Safety and among their findings, the researchers state that the use of RFID resulted in rapid detection of RSI through body tissue with high accuracy rates and reduced risk of counting errors and improved workflow. Furthermore, when comparing barcode and RF technologies to RFID technology, the study found that barcode scanners cannot serve as a solution for detecting RSI inside the patient because they are unable to read through skin, and that RF technology is similar to that within a metal detector device in that it can only detect the presence of an RF chip, but does not provide specific identification of tagged items, , nor can it detect multiple items at the same time, contrary to RFID technology that provides both.

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