(BUSINESS WIRE)--RF Surgical Systems, Inc. has announced the presentation of positive data from the largest-ever prospective, multi-institution study of the detection and prevention of retained surgical items (RSI) for improving patient safety and increasing staff confidence during surgical procedures. Lynn Bridgewater, MSN, Clinical Director of Operations, PeriOperative Services at Indiana University Health (IU) Methodist Hospital, presented results from the ongoing study evaluating the RF Surgical Detection System at the 59th Association of PeriOperative Registered Nurses (AORN) Congress. The presentation also included retrospective data showing zero RSI incidents when using RF Surgical technology over a four-year evaluation period. RSI is a medical error that occurs when materials such as surgical sponges or gauze are left inside a patient’s body following a surgical procedure.

The poster, “Radio frequency technology improves patient safety by reducing incidence of retained sponges,” was presented March 26, 2012 and included findings on the effectiveness of radio frequency technology for enhancing patient safety in the surgical patient population. Key interim conclusions reported at the AORN Congress include:

  • Patient safety was improved due to implementation of RF Surgical technology
  • OR staff confidence that no surgical item was left behind was improved with use of RF Surgical technology

In addition to the prospective data, results were also presented from a retrospective, four-year evaluation of RF Surgical technology at IU Health Methodist Hospital showing that use of the system resulted in a record of zero RSI incidents.

“We are committed to providing the very best quality of care and are proud of our leadership in the clinical evaluation of technologies to improve patient safety in the operating room,” said Lynn Bridgewater, MSN, Clinical Director of Operations, PeriOperative Services at Indiana University Health Methodist Hospital. “Our findings overwhelmingly support the use of the RF Surgical Detection System as a best-practice solution to maximize patient safety in the surgical setting.”

Indiana University Health is one of several nationwide sites to participate in the multi-institution study aimed to improve surgical counts and staff confidence in the OR. The hospital has demonstrated industry-leading, long-term safety rates since implementing the radio frequency technology. To date, nine hospitals in the IU Health network are using the system: IU Health Methodist Hospital, Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health, IU Health University Hospital, IU Health Bloomington Hospital, IU Health Arnett Hospital, IU Health North Hospital, IU Health West Hospital, IU Health Saxony and IU Health La Porte.

The RF Surgical Detection System is used in conjunction with manual counting to eliminate the risk of an RSI and improve patient safety in operating rooms. Prior to closing a patient during surgery, OR staff performs a manual count of the materials used during surgery. In addition to the surgical count the OR team waves the RF Surgical Detection System wand over the patient to verify count accuracy or to account for any discrepancies. An audible and visible alarm alerts the surgical team if a sponge or other material fitted with an RF tag is inside a patient’s body. With this information, clinicians can improve efficiencies by avoiding unnecessary X-rays and the potential need for repeat surgeries.

“We are pleased to see continued clinical evaluation of RF Surgical technology by leading institutions such as IU Health,” said Dr. Jeffrey Port, co-founder, RF Surgical Systems. “The data continues to validate the tremendous benefits radio frequency detection technology brings to hospitals by eliminating the incidence of RSIs, and improving patient safety in all surgical procedures.”