White Paper

A New Class Of Medical Products: Smart Connections With RFID Ensure Patient Safety

Source: CPC

Executive Overview
Countless companies worldwide use Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) to improve internal efficiencies, adding to their value proposition and increasing product or process safety. The technology is especially useful to medical device manufacturers, who must ensure the safety of their products and production processes to protect patients. The implementation of RFID delivers benefits to help these organizations avoid harmful and expensive mistakes, reduce liability and improve process management.

Uncontrolled Connections
For medical device manufacturers, the concern lies in the products they produce and the accompanying liabilities. If a product is used incorrectly a person may experience permanent loss of function or death, which could jeopardize the manufacturer’s credibility and business. One commonly reported liability is the misconnection of a critical line in a hospital or surgical setting, including catheters, intravenous (IV) lines, feeding tubes, dialysis lines, cuff inflation tubes and blood pressure cuffs.

According to Issue 36 - Tubing Misconnections, of the Commission International Center for Patient Safety published in April 2006, eight deaths in the United States resulted from line misconnections. The routine use of tubes or catheters for unintended purposes and the positioning of functionally dissimilar tubes used in close proximity to one another are at the root of the problem.

"A well-designed device should prevent misconnections and prompt the user to take correct action," explained Stephanie Joseph, author of a guidance article published in the March 2006 issue of the ECRI Institute’s Health Devices journal.

A solution to this problem: Business leaders can differentiate their brands by incorporating RFID systems that control media connections, increasing productivity while protecting people and the environment. In a medical setting, the misconnection of lines can lead to facility damage, harmful environmental effects or fatal exposure to workers.

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