Noora Salminen: UDI is coming - Are you ready?

What is UDI? The Unique Device Identifier (UDI) system is designed to enable healthcare devices to be identified and traced globally. The entry into force of the UDI system will force suppliers to label all their products in accordance with UDI requirements. An example of this is markings on care products, instruments and medical devices. The tag must be readable from the device both visually and automatically by means of a barcode or RFID tag. Each level of packaging is identified separately and reusable equipment, such as cutting instruments, must have, in addition to the packaging marking, a permanent marking on the equipment itself. The label is in two parts, including a unique device identifier, eg GTIN, and a unique production identifier, eg batch number, serial number or expiration date.

Aiming for a patient-safe hospital

The purpose of the UDI system is to improve patient safety. The more effectively the tools needed in nursing work can be traced in nursing logistics, the more certain risk and danger situations can be prevented. With the system, the hospital's internal logistics can be developed to be more efficient and patient-friendly. The development work considers at which stage of the logistics chain and nursing the identification should take place, who will perform it and with which technology the identification can be done smoothly. When workable solutions to these are found, the end result will be more efficient hospital logistics and a more patient-friendly hospital environment.

The benefits of UDI in the operating room

In hospital operating units, the UDI system enables product traceability as well as the working time of nursing staff and thus the efficiency of operating room utilization. In addition, hospitals will finally have access to fact-based figures on the cost of surgery to the patient. In the background, it is possible to influence supplier cooperation and choices.

Optiscan's reading solution for operating rooms

Manually entering a UDI (GTIN) into operating room systems is time consuming and error prone. We have already set off with the pilot hospitals during the transition phase of the UDI to consider a solution in which GTIN codes can be read by a barcode reader in operating rooms directly into the system. In the definition phase, we went through all the operating room products and their markings together with the system partner. We found that the markings on different products differ a lot from each other because there were a dozen types of barcodes depending on the supplier. There were also products with additional barcodes and some of the barcodes do not follow the general GTIN standard. For each type of barcode in the product group, precise reading rules had to be defined for programming barcode readers, and a barcode reader model with enough “smart” technical features had to be found.

Working together for results

Thanks to our clients' activity and expertise, we were able to nicely solve the challenges related to reading. As a result of our cooperation, we have satisfied hospital customers where operating room products can be identified automatically with one and the same barcode reader. The feedback received from the customer has been very good. Optiscan's reading solution saves operating room staff time and increases cost-effectiveness, without forgetting to receive patient-safe care. At Optiscan, we believe that only by knowing the customer’s operating environment will we be able to bring the best and most practical solutions to hospitals to meet the requirements of the UDI system. Our development work continues and the goal is to implement more cost-saving and efficiency-enhancing solutions around UDI requirements.

Let's discuss more!

If you are interested in Optiscan's solution or the challenges related to operating room logistics in general are still unresolved in your hospital, we will be happy to help you find the right solutions and technologies.

Noora Salminen

Contact our healthcare vendor: Noora Salminen, noora.salminen@optiscangroup.com or tel. 040-670 8463.



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