RFID labeling has cut down significantly on errors at one unit of Mayo Clinic, according to a new study. A new system implemented last year at the clinic’s high-volume gastroenterology and colorectal surgery outpatient endoscopy unit has significantly reduced the frequency of mislabeled specimens, according to the study presented this week at the annual meeting of the American College of Gastroenterology.
For the study, researchers compared the number of specimen-labeling errors for the first three months of 2007, prior to implementation of the RFID technology, and then during the first three months of 2008, six months after the RFID labeling system came online. Though the number of specimens processed increased – from 8,231 specimen bottles during the first three months of 2007 to 8,539 bottles during the first three months of 2008 – the number of errors decreased significantly. Compared with 765 errors in 2007, only 47 errors were detected in 2008.
The Mayo Clinic’s labeling system was developed using 3M’s Track and Trace Solutions, and was implemented after completion of a pilot program in early 2007. According to the researchers, the study marked the first use of an RFID application to track specimens in a healthcare setting.