How Implant Set Mapping Works
A good way to explain orthopedic set mapping is to use an example everyone is familiar with - the shelves at a grocery store or pharmacy A type of product, lets say foot spray, has two different brands - Odor Eaters Foot and Sneaker spray, and CareOne Foot & Sneaker spray. There are 10 cans of each on the shelf. And, there is a shelf label where each product should be. This label has the GTIN (global identification number) which corresponds to each product above it, as well as a barcode which represents this number.
Look at the picture to the left. If you scan the circled shelf tag, your scanner will pull up the general information about the product (in this case Odor Eaters Foot and Sneaker spray). This is because the scanner connects to software which knows that the number scanned references the Odor Eater product.
Now, let’s cut to a typical orthopedic implant set. The set has trays inside it which contain implants that are organized similarly to the foot spray on the pharmacy shelf. There are different types of implant shapes and sizes, with several of each type. They also have rows of screws of different properties. However, the trays don’t have labels for each unique product like the shelf at the pharmacy. This is for a number of reasons, mostly because barcodes don’t last on surgical trays because of the harsh cleaning environment they repeatedly undergo, and many implants are too small and shiny for barcodes. As a result, there are currently over 200,000 orthopedic sets in the US healthcare system that don’t have scannable “shelf tags” or scannable marks for their contents.
Summate Technologies has developed a total solution for providing “shelf tags” for all the items inside the 200,000 orthopedic sets and trays in the US healthcare system. Called TAG marks, they can mark each tray location that holds a unique implant, so as its chosen during surgery, the general item information can be scanned and accurately recorded. And TAG marks will last and function much longer than barcodes. They are made from medical grade polycarbonate, and contain a microchip that is light powered and read with our laser reader directly from the surgical field. They can be used to quickly retrofit all those trays out in the field, so it's a cost effective solution as well. Summate’s software works just like the retail software, matching the number scanned with implant used.
So in the picture to the right, their are several rows of screws, with different lengths (in this
case 1 row of 3mm long screws, 2 rows of 4mm long screws, and one row of 5mm long screws). The white object at the top of each row is a TAG mark. Every time a 4mm screw is chosen, the TAG mark at the top of its corresponding row is scanned and Summate’s Velox software records its usage. This is called scanning at point of use, and helps to keep track of what is used during surgery. Scanning at point of use is used in every other industry in the world, and all other departments in the hospital. It’s the gold standard of supply chain initiation. Now for the first time it is available in the surgical field for tracking orthopedic implant usage.
Why is this important? Imagine going to the grocery store and having the clerk have to pick up and try to find the price tag and punch the price in manually on every item you have in your grocery basket. Lots of errors and lots of time. Yet, that is the way the US healthcare market accounts for anything used in the surgical field. It doesn’t make any sense. Scanning at point of use will do for the 45 billion dollar US orthopedic implant market what its done for the retail and every other industry it’s used in: lower costs, improve quality, and increase availability, all through better and real time supply chain demand information.
In summary? Scanning during surgery is going to save a LOT of money in what is currently a backward and very wasteful industry. The time has come for the orthopedic industry to put Scan in The Plan. It’s time for Scan Ready® orthopedic sets and trays.
For more information, see our web page and Blog for more articles on this subject: