ETHealthworld Editor Shahid Akhter interviewed. Doctor. MI SahadhuraGroup Chairman and Managing Director, KIMSHealth To learn about the best practices hospital networks have in place to reduce the risk of surgical supplies being left behind.
Innovations impacting healthcare
I have long believed that innovation has transformed industries and revolutionized the way we work and live. The healthcare industry has traditionally been slow to embrace innovation, but it has made remarkable progress, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has acted as a catalyst for medical innovation, with remarkable progress achieved in a relatively short period of time. The rapid development and distribution of vaccines is a prime example of this accelerated innovation. It usually takes several years to develop a vaccine, but during the pandemic our country successfully developed a vaccine within 12-14 months. This achievement highlights impressive progress in medical innovation and sets the stage for further progress in this field.
the need for Automated surgical sponge tracking
Accidentally leaving gauze, sponges, or even surgical instruments in the abdomen or other areas where surgery is indicated is a constant concern in surgery. Such incidents can lead to serious complications, patient morbidity and reputational damage to hospitals and healthcare providers. Recognizing the importance of this issue, important innovations have been introduced to address this issue and improve patient safety. To combat the risks associated with stranded surgical supplies, kimshells Introduced the concept of barcoding surgical gauze by laser printing. This makes it easier to keep track of these surgical items during surgery or before the surgery ends. Use a reader to make sure you don’t accidentally leave something behind. This innovation serves as a digitized process to improve the reliability and efficiency of surgical procedures.
Barcoding and laser printing technology for tracking surgical sponges is not limited to intellectual capital. They represent the digitization of critical processes. In the future, it is expected that companies that supply gauze strips will pre-print barcodes, which will become widespread across hospitals. This revolution has garnered praise and offered a viable solution to reducing the fear and risk associated with leaving surgical items inside a patient’s body.
Automated surgical sponge tracking: make it affordable
The implementation costs of barcoding and laser printing are reasonable today, but can become expensive at scale. Considering the number of gauze sheets used, the cost is estimated at around 30-40 rupees per his operation. However, efforts are underway to bring this cost down to a more affordable level, which could be around 10 rupees per operation. Modifications to the digitization process are continually being considered to optimize efficiency and cost-effectiveness. And I hope that sooner or later, the public sector will adopt this as well, ensuring patient safety everywhere.Automated Surgical Sponge Tracking in KIMS
A preliminary study implementing automated surgical sponge tracking in KIMSHEALTH showed promising results. Physicians and nursing staff hailed the discovery as a great blessing, alleviating the constant worry of counting the number of surgical sponges used. The barcode imprinted on the gauze continues to work even when immersed in blood or other bodily fluids, ensuring its effectiveness. As these gauze pieces are produced in Kimseers, the challenge now is to make this innovation widely available to hospitals and healthcare providers in the country. If many hospitals buy it from a vendor, the big vendors can always pre-print it for sale. There are still some questions left, but this is an innovation, plus it also has the same kind of process of digitizing all specimens and tracking instruments. KIMSHEALTH has all these mechanisms at work and I feel they are very effective and successful. Apart from the above factors, this saves money and increases sufficiency. It should definitely be made available to the masses and that is our goal for the near future.
Automated surgical sponge tracking represents a notable innovation in medicine, driven by the need to increase patient safety and minimize risks associated with surgical procedures. By leveraging barcoding and laser printing technology, hospitals can effectively track and retrieve surgical items before closure, avoiding potentially disastrous consequences. Work is underway to make this innovation more accessible, including exploring vendor partnerships and optimizing cost efficiency. With further advances in digitization and other healthcare innovations on the horizon, it is clear that the future of healthcare will revolutionize patient care, improve outcomes and increase access to healthcare services.