Microwave Journal

ClearCount launches SmartSponge Flex surgical sponge system

EDAFocus

April 3, 2012

ClearCount Medical Solutions, a leader in patient safety solutions, announced that it has updated its existing platform and launched the SmartSponge® Flex, a new addition to the SmartSponge family of products. The SmartSponge Flex provides ClearCount’s clinically preferred and patented RFID technology in a new cost-effective and compact package.

The SmartSponge Flex provides a dedicated basin for sponge accounting during surgery. Positioned next to the surgical field, it automatically reconciles the sponge count throughout the procedure – no tedious bar code reading or sponge handling during the out count is required. Its superior design both improves OR productivity and ease-of-use for staff. Latest product enhancements include:

  • Ergonomic design keeps everything within reach for improved staff satisfaction
  • Easy access to data ports on the back of the unit for convenient data download
  • Complete electronic record of all cases, for traceability and management reporting
  • High tech construction features seamless design and antimicrobial protection for the life of the device

“The SmartSponge Flex builds upon our proven ClearCount technology with an improved design that fits even more seamlessly into existing OR protocols,” said David Palmer, chief executive officer of ClearCount. “The release of the SmartSponge Flex furthers our commitment to enhancing both safety and productivity in the OR through the thoughtful application of technology.”

ClearCount’s Radio Frequency IDentification (RFID) based platform is the only technology available that provides true closed-loop reconciliation of the sponge count. All equipment and RFID tags are validated before use in each case. During surgery, sponges are individually tracked from the initial check-in through the out count. When called upon, the detection wand assists to quickly locate missing sponges. To date, this counting and detection approach has made retained sponges a true “Never Event” in all operating rooms where ClearCount’s technology has been implemented. Further distinguishing ClearCount is our industry-first $2M Never Event Warranty. For many, this additional assurance makes the choice of using ClearCount technology even more clear.

Using manual procedures, retained surgical items are estimated to occur in one of every 1,500 open abdominal/chest procedures, leading to additional surgeries, unnecessary costs, serious infections and even death. For the second year in a row, retained surgical items were the leading Sentinel Event reported to the Joint Commission, which accredits hospitals in the United States. The number of reported retained surgical items grew over 40% from 2010 to 2011, illustrating that this issue remains a pervasive challenge for hospitals across the country. ClearCount customers’ track record of not a single retained sponge incident report since product introduction provides compelling evidence in favor of using RFID technology to help reduce this risk.

ClearCount will be exhibiting the SmartSponge Flex at the 59th AORN Congress 2012, in New Orleans, LA, March 24-29, 2012 in booth #4059.