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 shows 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 every 64 days, on average. During the study, 87,404 procedures were performed over 18 months using 1,862,373 Safety-Sponges®, and none were retained.
- Usage caused no workflow disruption or increase in case duration.
- Staff satisfaction was acceptable.
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 than 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.
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.