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Stryker Guarantees Its Sponge-Scanning System Will Prevent Retained Items

Company announces "SurgiCount Promise" multi-million dollar risk-sharing program.

Published: March 23, 2016

SAFETY GUARANTEED When used as directed, SurgiCount is 100% reliable, says Stryker.

Every day, OR teams nationwide leave about a dozen surgical sponges inside their patients. But none of them, a company is willing to bet, will be your patients if you use the SurgiCount Safety-Sponge System. Stryker, the system's manufacturer, all but guarantees it with a multi-million dollar risk-sharing program it announced today.

Under the "SurgiCount Promise," the company is agreeing to stake up to $5 million in legal costs for any provider whose patient suffers a retained sponge during surgeries in which the sponge-scanning system was properly used.

In addition to the product liability protection, Stryker will also refund SurgiCount customers the cost of implementing the system in the event of its catastrophic failure.

"The SurgiCount Promise gives participating hospitals complete confidence to invest in patient safety by shifting product-cost risk to us," says Stryker Surgical Vice President and General Manager Dylan Crotty.

What makes SurgiCount a highly accountable adjunct to manual counts? Three things, says the company: individual bar-code identification of each sponge and towel used in a case; its mobile, easy-to-read, real-time scanner; and its documentation of verified correct counts in its system management software.

More than 480 U.S. hospitals have used the system in more than 9 million cases since 2011, Stryker notes, and not a single sponge out of the 170 million handled was left behind.

David Bernard


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