Research Indicates Efficacy of SurgiCount Safety Sponge System

Article

Results of a multi-year, independent clinical research study on retained surgical sponges published in the February edition of The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety show that the institution implementing the SurgiCount Safety-Sponge® System eliminated the occurrence of retained surgical sponges and the costs associated with these preventable surgical errors.

The peer-reviewed publication details two, randomized, controlled trials conducted at a high- volume surgical practice, the subsequent implementation of the Safety-Sponge® System across all of the 128 operating rooms at the affiliated institution and a comprehensive evaluation of the solution after 18 months of use. The evaluation considered variables including system effectiveness on reducing retained surgical sponges, efficiency, impact on operative time, ergonomics and staff satisfaction.

Key results and conclusions of the study include:

- Prior to implementation, a retained surgical sponge occurred at the institution on average every 64 days. During the study, 87,404 procedures were performed over 18 months using 1,862,373 Safety-Sponges®, and none were retained.

- Use of the Safety-Sponge® System caused no workflow disruption or increase in case duration.

- Staff satisfaction with the Safety-Sponge® System was acceptable with a high degree of trust in the syste m.

- The Safety-Sponge® System was found to be highly reliable and cost-effective.

"To my knowledge, this is by far the most extensive study ever performed on this important patient safety issue, and we are proud to have this comprehensive, independent research validate the SurgiCount Safety-Sponge® System," says Brian E. Stewart, president and chief executive officer of Patient Safety Technologies, the parent company of SurgiCount Medical, and co-inventor of the Safety-Sponge® System.

The SurgiCount Safety-Sponge® System is a complete sponge counting and documentation system shown to help prevent the occurrence of retained sponges by assuring a more accurate accounting of those items before and after surgery. By labeling each sponge with a unique identifier, the system helps to prevent users from incorrectly counting the individual sponges and unintentionally leaving one inside the patient. The system is currently used in more th an 65 government, teaching and community hospitals across the U.S., including five of the 14 "Honor Roll Hospitals" for 2010-2011, as cited by U.S. News and World Report.

"Avoidable medical errors cost the U.S. healthcare industry an estimated $20 billion every year and put patient lives in jeopardy," says Lisa Ashby, president of category management for the medical segment of Cardinal Health. "We work continuously with partners like SurgiCount to connect our customers to innovative, cost-effective solutions that help reduce errors and increase the quality of care, and these results confirm that were making a positive impact on the future of health care."

The Safety-Sponge® System is a proprietary product provided by SurgiCount Medical, the wholly-owned operating subsidiary of Patient Safety Technologies, and distributed by Cardinal Health.

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