Becoming the largest user of RFID-tracking in the UK

NHS Lothian adopts Lyngsoe X-Tracking™, to enhance efficiency and keep track of more than 42,000 medical items. X-Tracking offers visibility of assets, supporting patient care and operational optimization at multiple sites.

Lothian Health Board implements X-Tracking™

In a significant development aimed at improving efficiency and operational effectiveness, NHS Lothian, the second largest Health Authority in the UK, has continued to expand its infrastructure with Lyngsoe Systems, becoming the largest roll-out of RFID tracking in the UK. The roll-out is planned to enable the tracking of over 42,000 items of medical equipment and around 6,600 surgical instrument trays. The expansion increases the Health Authority’s capabilities for managing and tracking sterile assets, medical devices and hospital beds across its multiple sites in the UK.

NHS Lothian, which delivers exceptional healthcare services across Edinburgh and the Lothians, operates five hospital sites offering acute, psychiatric, and pediatric care. With a comprehensive range of primary, community-based and acute hospital services, NHS Lothian caters to the populations of Edinburgh, Midlothian, East Lothian and West Lothian, as well as providing specialist services to patients from the wider region of southeast Scotland.

With an initial investment of 140 RFID readers, which detect RFID tags connected to sterilisation trays, the health board is combatting challenges to provide availability of instrument sets for surgical operations. Clinical staff often had to postpone or cancel surgeries due to unavailability of sterilised instruments. Additionally, the sterile services department had minimal visibility of the supply chain to manage urgent requests and maintain a seamless sterilisation and decontamination process.

RFID-Tracking: An essential tool

“RFID tracking has now become an essential tool for NHS Lothian, both in terms of the strategic insights and system change that the system can facilitate, and also through the significant operational efficiencies that are being achieved when trying to locate medical devices to aid patient flow or maintain devices in a timely fashion.”

Dr. Malcolm Phillips

Head of Clinical Engineering, NHS Lothian

The power of X-Tracking

X-Tracking™ will provide full visibility of tray sets, endoscopes, and other sterile goods as they leave the sterilisation and decontamination departments and records them arriving at remote storage facilities located across the Health Board. The solution involves equipping instrument trays with autoclavable RFID tags that are GS1 encoded and laser marked with barcodes. This allows for seamless sharing of location data with third-party solutions, such as CANEXIS™, or other suppliers. RFID readers are strategically placed throughout the sterile services, storage areas and operating theatre prep areas, sensing the trays as they move through these locations.

An additional 300 RFID readers were procured following the decision to take bed management in‑house. This allowed Lothian to assess their RFID requirements more broadly. This investment culminated in over 2,500 passive RFID tags being attached to beds, allowing them to be detected at strategic locations throughout the sites. The location data then supports decisions around availability, cleaning, maintenance and other requirements which are a direct result of efficient bed tracking.

With an annual budget of £1.6 billion and a dedicated workforce of approximately 26,000 employees, NHS Lothian is committed to providing high-quality healthcare services to its diverse patient population. The implementation of this innovative solution is another step towards achieving their goal of delivering exceptional care while optimizing operational processes.

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