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UT Medical Center Automates Supply Management with RAIN RFID

University of Tennessee Medical Center uses RAIN RFID technology to track and manage OR supplies, improve patient charge capture, and enhance patient safety.

RAIN RFID helps hospital improve efficiency and patient care

The UT Medical Center uses a RAIN RFID intelligent trashcan from DeRoyal Industries, integrated with the Impinj platform, to automatically track supply usage in operating suites, capture consumption data, and improve supply management and patient care. With their solution, UT Medical Center was able to:

  • Reduce staff time spent pulling and restocking supplies
  • Increase revenue with more accurate charge capture
  • Improve tracking and management of physician preference cards
  • Reduce likelihood of infections
  • Implement data-driven supply management

UT Medical Center efficiently manages OR supplies and reduces patient risks during surgeries

UT Medical Center and DeRoyal began working together in 2014 initially to develop a new preference card system for use in their operating rooms. What they found was a need to not just optimize physician preference cards, but also a need to analyze supply usage, stocking levels, returns, locations, and quantities. They needed a solution that would help make acuity-based decisions and accurately document usage.

Improving patient safety during procedures was also a priority. The medical center’s workflow studies found surgical staff leaving the OR for an average of 10.75 minutes per case to fetch supplies needed for OR procedures because they were not readily available in the OR. Such repeated door openings can increase the risk of surgical site infection and contribute to surgical mistakes. UT Medical Center wanted to limit the number of supply-related door openings by having needed supplies readily available, and thereby reduce the risk of surgical site infections. 

Intelligent trashcan accurately and automatically tracks hospital supply usage

DeRoyal, a medical device manufacturer committed to improving both the clinical quality and economic health of its customers, worked with UT Medical Center to create a solution that would meet the organization’s needs. The solution, an intelligent trashcan called the DeRoyal Continuum® Safe, leverages the Impinj platform to automatically capture data about supplies consumed during surgical procedures.

Here's how it works:

  • At UT Medical Center, OR supply packaging is tagged with RAIN RFID tags to create endpoints
  • When those supplies are used and discarded by clinicians, they are thrown into the Continuum Safe and information about the supplies consumed is automatically captured using a near field antenna and an Impinj Speedway reader
  • The reader gathers information about the supply items and transmits it to DeRoyal’s Continuum Safe application, which associates it to the specific procedure being performed in the OR. The solution also uses a standard HL7 interface to integrate into inventory, billing and surgical information systems, passing data about the supplies used so they can be properly tracked
  • In addition, analytics can be applied at the patient, procedure, and supply level to help create more efficiencies across the health system, including assisting with the original goal of optimizing physician preference cards at UT Medical Center

DeRoyal’s Continuum Safe solution and RAIN RFID technology from Impinj are delivering multiple benefits to UT Medical Center. Supply levels can be better managed based on usage data, with improved usage accuracy, decreased late pulls and fewer returns with each procedure. Risk of patient infection is reduced because clinicians remain in the OR and are no longer leaving to procure supplies. Forecasting and inventory knowledge has become more accurate, allowing waste and expired supply levels to decrease. 

By accurately knowing the specific supplies used with each procedure, patient charge capture improved by 30%, which means increased reimbursement levels.

Patient Capture Charge Improvement
Better hospital supply management with RAIN RFID

Reduce the time staff spends pulling and restocking supplies
UT Medical Center uses RAIN RFID tags and readers to automatically track supplies and link them to specific surgical procedures, reducing the need for staff to spend time restocking the OR and allowing them to focus on high-value tasks.

Increase revenue with more accurate charge capture
Using the Impinj-DeRoyal solution to accurately document the specific supplies used for each surgical procedure, UT Medical Center improved patient charge capture by 30 percent, leading to increased reimbursement levels and more revenue.

Improve tracking and management of physician preference cards
With the Impinj-DeRoyal solution, UT Medical Center can apply analytics at the patient-, procedure-, and supply- level to create more efficiency across the health system, which includes optimizing physician preference cards.

Reduce likelihood of infections
The solution reduces risk of patient infection by ensuring supplies are readily available when and where they are needed, enabling clinicians to remain in the OR and no longer leave during procedures to find supplies.

Implement data-driven supply management
The Impinj-DeRoyal solution collects data from tagged supplies used during procedures, and employs a standard HL7 interface to integrate with inventory, billing and surgical information systems so they can be properly tracked.

UT Medical Center was awarded a “Most Innovative Use Case” award by the Intelligent Health Association at HIMSS in 2015 as a result of their work on this project.  After beginning the Continuum Safe deployment with five ORs, UTMC is expanding to all 36 OR suites and developing other use cases managing additional supply locations leveraging DeRoyal solutions and the Impinj platform.

Article tagged as:

Customer Story Healthcare Inventory Management Inventory Replenishment Impinj Reader Chips Impinj Readers

Thursday, March 24, 2016


UT Medical Center

The University of Tennessee Medical Center provides patient-centered care and is a leader in research, technology, and treatments. The hospital is the region's only Level 1 Trauma Center.

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Founded in 1973, medical device manufacturer DeRoyal is committed to improving both the clinical quality and economic health of its customers. DeRoyal brings value to its customers in several distinct markets, including surgical devices, unitized delivery systems, orthopedic supports & bracing, and wound care dressings.

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