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RFID & Wireless IoT Global

School of Oral Health Care Copenhagen counts on UHF RFID for its dental equipment

Use Cases | By PR RFID & Wireless IoT Global | 24 August 2016
Die RFID-Lösung ermöglicht es auch, exakt zu dokumentieren, welche Instrumente von welchem Studenten bei welchen Patienten verwendet und wann die genutzten Geräte sterilisiert wurden. Die RFID-Lösung ermöglicht es auch, exakt zu dokumentieren, welche Instrumente von welchem Studenten bei welchen Patienten verwendet und wann die genutzten Geräte sterilisiert wurden. Photo: Uniklinikum Kopenhagen

Tracking of dental instruments improves patient safety and improves hygiene

Hygiene, inventory accuracy, patient safety: medical facilities and hospitals have to follow many regulations regarding clinical practice and keep track of their medical equipment at the same time. The School of Oral Health Care at the University of Copenhagen counts on an RFID-based tracking solution to meet these requirements. Most instruments are tagged. Bo Danielsen from the University of Copenhagen talks to „RFID im Blick Global“ about the use and benefits of RFID for staff and patients alike.

Bo Danielsen, Head of School of Oral Health Care, University of Copenhagen, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, in an interview with “RFID im Blick Global”

Every dental instrument is tagged

For more than eight years already, the University of Copenhagen has been considering RFID deployment for instrument identification. Due to various technical factors, the concrete implementation of the plans did not happen until two years ago – and thus they became the world‘s first dental institution to deploy an RFID system. In the School of Oral Health Care, which is part of the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, UHF transponders were implanted in all medical instruments such as dental drills, or an plastic tag was attached to the instruments externally.

Bo Danielsen highlights the benefits of a global RFID deployment: „Within the framework of this ‚pioneer project‘, the School of Oral Health Care has, in cooperation with the system integrator LM-Instrument, attached an UHF transponder to each dental device and 60 RFID readers to the surrounding space in order to monitor any movements of the instruments. The instruments can be tracked continuously from the time of their entry into the system, through their use and processing, on to sterilization and on their return to the base. Full control over the hygiene status of all instruments is ensured at all times. The testing and rollout were almost totally smooth. Small issues with the software were quickly overcome.“

Bo DanielsenBo Danielsen “Thanks to a UHF transponder, the dental instruments can be tracked from the time of their first use of the application, through the sterilization and maintenance, up unto the return to the base. From the full-scale control of the hygiene status mainly benefits the patient, whose safety is increased.“

Monitor hygiene status seamlessly with RFID

In the area of hygiene monitoring, the movement of the instruments in particular plays a decisive role. „The RFID solution makes it possible to monitor the hygiene status of each instrument to one hundred percent accuracy at any time using the visualization software. The movement protocol automatically generates notes when the instruments are sterilized. This is an essential process to eliminate all kinds of microorganisms, viruses, and pathogens. This requires robust RFID tags which can resist high temperatures, humidity, and high pressures. In the sterilization process, the instrument and the tags are first washed and then heated to over 130 degrees Celsius.

Under high pressure, the devices are autoclaved to ensure total sterilization. The externally mounted tags on the instruments are protected with plastic, which shrinks when heated and forms a protective barrer throughout the day. Thus, the heat of sterilization can be used to attach the tags as well as possible. The monitoring of the sterilization processes based on RFID ensures compliance and optimizes hygiene standards and safety – also for the patient, because the routes from cleaning to the commitment with the patient and the return to the treatment and maintenance can be monitored continuously. Only then can the actual implementation of cleaning processes be guaranteed,“ explains Bo Danielsen.

Around 200 students use the tagged tools

Employees also appreciated the implementation of the RFID solution in their working processes, explained the head of the School of Oral Health Care. „The detection of the instruments is only a small additional process that can easily be integrated into the workflow and offers numerous advantages for transparency and inventory accuracy through optimized work routines to an increased quality management for employees. All employees have an positive attitude towards RFID and support the implementation.

The 200 students of the School of Oral Health Care also use the RFID-equipped instruments. The solution enables the accurate documentation of the usage history of the instruments. The School of Oral Health Care receives insights about which instruments the students used on which patient and when these instruments were sterilized. There is the option in the system to authorize which students are allowed to use which instruments. Moreover, it is possible to track at what time and for how long the individual students worked with different patients. All this information helps to improve the education and quality management of the program.”

University of Copenhagen at the RFID tomorrow 2016 on September 19th and 20th in Dusseldorf, germany

RFID tomorrow 2016Bo Danielsen talks in Forum 5: RFID in Medical Processes at the RFID tomorrow 2016: Enhanced Patient Safety: School of Oral Health Care at the University of Copenhagen uses UHF-RFID for Tracking Dental Instruments

Further lectures about "Hospital Management | Laboratory technology | Medical Engineering" by Charité, Data Protection Officer Spyra, University Hospital Oslo, Microsensys, Leo System and Sunnybrook Hospital.

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Last modified on Saturday, 03 September 2016 13:21