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Hospital finds new way of tracking surgical items

Published on Oct 24, 2012 6:00 AM
Surgical items at KK are tagged with radio frequency chips. The tracking system won a prize at the National Infocomm Awards on Tuesday. -- PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

A new radio frequency tracking system has rendered obsolete the way in which doctors and nurses used to account for every blade, swab and pair of forceps used during surgical procedures.

Once surgical items are tagged with a radio-frequency chip, they can be easily tracked with a scanner and the total count is automatically shown on a computer screen.

The system, thought to be a world-first, was developed by a Singapore-based firm and won a prize at the National Infocomm Awards 2012 on Tuesday.

It was initiated by KK Women's and Children's Hospital. The system has been under clinical trial since January 2010, and has been able to combat human counting errors.

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