The team at Identifinder has recognized a tangible need for their product use in Canadian hospitals. Every day, items are being lost during short and long-term hospital stays. We have outlined our vision to remedy the short-stay and lost item issues below.
The short-term hospital stay process creates the perfect storm for patients to lose items. The patients arrive in a generally higher state of anxiety, to an unknown environment, for procedures that usually involve anesthesia and other sedation.
After the patient is shown to a bed, vital signs are taken and the procedure is explained before an IV line is established for administration of medications and a lab technician arrives to draw blood for routine bloodwork. This all usually takes place within one hour, when pre-med sedations are then given prior to being taken to the operating room where the patient is transferred onto the operating table, usually surrounded by 4-8 people.
The next thing the patient remembers is waking up in the recovery room. Upon reaching a low level of consciousness, the patient’s family member or close friend is called to take the patient home. The patient is packed up and wheeled to the awaiting ride. It is usually not until much later that day or the following day that the patient discovers that an item has been lost, likely left at the hospital.
Once a call to the hospital is made, hospital resources are engaged to determine if the missing item has been recovered and turned into lost and found. Usually the item is not yet found at this point – but the hospital staff involvement runs a cost to the hospital of over $100 in associated staff wages and associated costs.
Inevitably, if the lost item is in the hospital, it will turn up at the laundry area, whether it is located in-house, or through a contracted service.
On a daily basis, over one hundred items are discovered daily in the laundry sorting process. These items are primarily cell phones, wallets, glasses, dentures, and hearing aids originating from patients, as well as facility property such as slings, belts, instruments, remote controls, and stethoscopes. The costs of these items, on an average day, are believed to accumulate to $20,000 – $30,000.
The interesting reality is that everyone involved in this situation know that something is wrong with this picture, but there has never been a cost-effective way to address it, until now.
Now, there is the Identifinder.