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Houston Methodist Study Examines Potential of RFID-Enabled Surgical Tools

June 28, 2024 - Eden McCleskey

In the high-stakes world of surgery, precision and safety are paramount. The advent of RFID-enabled surgical tools marks an important step forward in ensuring patient safety and improving surgical outcomes.

Advanced instruments, embedded with radiofrequency identification technology, allow for real-time tracking and meticulous inventory management during operations.

The innovation addresses a longstanding concern in the medical field: the accidental retention of surgical instruments in patients, a rare but serious complication that can lead to infections, additional surgeries and life-threatening repercussions.

Stuart Corr, Ph.D., a Houston Methodist associate research professor of Bioengineering in Cardiovascular Surgery, recently led a first-of-its-kind study to evaluate metal instrument usage via RFID technology and collect insights from intraoperative data analytics.

"Manual methods of keeping track of surgical tools are necessary but cumbersome: interrupting workflows and leading to longer procedures," Dr. Corr said. "RFID-enabled surgical tools and novel 'Smart Table' systems such as the one analyzed in this study help improve safety and efficiency while also passively collecting data on equipment usage and operating time to help optimize pre-operative planning and define surgical best practices."

For more about the study and Houston Methodist's ongoing efforts to ensure that no tool is left behind and every patient receives the highest standard of care, click here to read the full article in Methodology.

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