The Food and Drug Administration today announced that SurgiChip, a revolutionary RFID solution that uses RFID printer/encoders and labels from Zebra Technologies, has been cleared for marketing. The system embeds and prints information on an RFID “smart” label that travels with the patient into surgery to help prevent errors.
Viewed as another vital safeguard to prevent wrong-site, wrong-patient and wrong-procedure medical errors, the SurgiChip can be programmed and used in many types of surgical procedures. It was invented by Dr. Bruce Waxman, an orthopaedic surgeon and founder of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.-based SurgiChip Inc., and developed by AMT Systems Inc, a leading healthcare applications integrator based in Cheshire, Conn.
How SURGICHIP Works
During the pre-admissions process, the patient’s identification, surgical site and surgical information are encoded and printed onto a SurgiChip smart label using Zebra’s compact R2844-Z RFID printer/encoder and smart media. Once programmed and printed, the RFID chip in the smart label is scanned with a desktop RFID reader and the patient confirms the information. It is then placed in the patient’s file.
On the day of surgery, the SurgiChip is scanned again and the information is approved by the patient prior to sedation. The SurgiChip is then applied to the location where the incision will be made. The patient’s participation helps to ensure that errors will be avoided.
In the operating room, the surgical team again scans the SurgiChip with a handheld reader and ensures the smart label matches the patient’s chart and ID wristband. Only then does the surgical procedure commence.