PITTSBURGH--(BUSINESS WIRE)--ClearCount Medical Solutions and Medline Industries, Inc. today announced that its newest customer, the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare system will help prevent retained surgical sponge incidents with the use of the SmartSponge System®. The SmartSponge System is part of ClearCount’s radio-frequency identification (RFID)-based platform that uniquely identifies each sponge so that they can be easily counted and detected. Medline is the exclusive distributor for the SmartWand-DTX and the SmartSponge System, the only FDA-cleared systems using RFID to both count and locate surgical sponges.
“We are pleased to derive the benefits of such a comprehensive solution for the prevention of retained surgical sponges,” said Mark A. Wilson, M.D., Ph.D. Chief Surgeon and Medical Director of the Surgery Specialty Service Line, VA Pittsburgh. “We use the SmartSponge System to improve patient safety in our ORs with the goal of also improving efficiency. The uniqueness of this RFID platform is its integration of both counting and detection strategies. It is capable of growing with our patient safety initiatives, and we look forward to the future benefits it will provide.”
“The SmartSponge System provides a safety net for human error. Despite the level of experience of staff, individuals are bound to make mistakes. Distractions during counting and the mundane simplicity of 'counting' make the inevitability of losing track of a sponge a constant reality. The use of a system that virtually eliminates retained sponge incidents allows us to meet our ethical obligation to our patients,” said William Stevens, RN, BSN, CNOR Nurse Manager OR/PACU Surgery Specialty Service Line, VA Pittsburgh.
The VA Pittsburgh hospital has implemented SmartSponge Systems into its full suite of operating rooms. The national Veterans Health system, which includes 155 medical centers and 842 outpatient clinics, is the largest health care system in the US, with more than 5 million of the 25 million veterans alive today receiving its services.
“We’re pleased to add the VA Pittsburgh to our customer base,” said David Palmer, Chief Executive Officer of ClearCount. “The VA Pittsburgh has shown great leadership in terms of innovation and its commitment to patient safety. We are proud to now be a part of that continued tradition.”
Despite designation as a “never event,” retained items are estimated to occur in one of every 1,000 to 1,500 abdominal surgical procedures, which can lead to hospital inefficiencies, unnecessary costs, serious infections and even death. Hospital infections add an estimated $30.5 billion to the nation's hospital costs each year. In one study using a retrospective review of medical malpractice claims data from a statewide insurer in Massachusetts, sponge counts had been falsely correct in 76 percent of non-vaginal surgical cases involving retained sponges. Falsely correct sponge counts were attributed to team fatigue, difficult or long operations, sponges “sticking together,” shift changes or procedures with a large number of sponges.
About ClearCount Medical Solutions
ClearCount Medical Solutions is a medical device company focused on patient safety solutions. ClearCount has assembled an extendable RFID-based platform that provides a comprehensive solution to improve efficiency while preventing medical errors, distributed exclusively by Medline. ClearCount Medical Solutions has been recognized with a Popular Science 2009 Best of What’s New Award, and has received additional recognition from TIME and WIRED magazines, the 2009 Wall Street Journal Technology Innovation Award, the International Design Excellence Award (IDEA) and more. ClearCount’s SmartSponge and SmartWand-DTX systems are the only RFID enabled systems for counting and detecting surgical sponges, thereby improving patient and OR safety, enhancing productivity, and reducing cost. To learn more, visit www.clearcount.com.
About Medline Industries, Inc.
Medline, the nation’s largest privately held manufacturer and distributor of healthcare products, manufactures and distributes more than 100,000 products to hospitals, extended-care facilities, surgery centers, home care dealers and agencies. Headquartered in Mundelein, Ill., Medline has more than 800 dedicated sales representatives nationwide to support its broad product line and cost management services.
Over the past five years, Medline has been the fastest-growing distributor of medical and surgical supplies in the U.S., serving as the primary distributor to over 450 major hospitals and healthcare systems. As a leading distributor, Medline offers a comprehensive array of consulting and management services encompassing the supply chain and logistics, utilization and standardization, business tools and enhanced reporting capabilities and on-staff clinicians.