The Next Fertility Nordic clinic (BioEximi OÜ) is the first fertility clinic in Estonia where, in addition to conventional personal identification, the RI Witness™ electronic identification system has been implemented. RI Witness is a method recognized in IVF (in vitro fertilization) clinics around the world, whereby the laboratory plasticware, in which patient’s gametes and embryos are cultivated, are marked with a unique bar code containing the patient’s identification. The RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) technology integrated into the laboratory work surfaces detects and records the patients’ personal data every time gametes or embryos are moved from one device to another, and the electronic system immediately signals if the wrong patient’s gametes or embryos end up on the work surface.
According to Dr. Ailen Aluri, the Medical Director at the Next Fertility Nordic clinic, RI Witnessing increases patients’ trust in the clinic even more, because through this system, they know that the possibility of making a mistake has been prevented.
Lab manager Samantha Wake describes that when patients enter the clinic, they receive a special ID card. An electronic tag with the same information is added to the cup where the semen specimen is collected and, on the dishes where the eggs and embryos are cultivated. When freezing and thawing reproductive material, in addition to the name on the straw label, the electronic barcode is also scanned. In this way, patients’ biological material can be continuously identified in the lab through several methods. In addition, RI Witnessing enhances laboratory quality control by measuring the time it takes for various work steps and records the batch numbers of lab supplies and media used for each patient procedure.
According to Karin Rosenstein, CEO of the Next Fertility Nordic clinic, double-witnessing has long been mandatory in many countries (such as the UK). In the form of the RI Witnessing system, it is a significant additional investment for the clinic with the aim to offer patients modern conditions for fertility treatment. She believes that it is very important for both patients and staff to know the biological material is handled in the safest way possible from collection to storage and finally transfer.
Our patients’ well-being and trust are one of the priorities of our clinic.
CooperSurgical Global Marketing Manager for RI Witness Anker Thisted: At CooperSurgical, we are very proud that Next Fertility Nordic, as the first IVF centre in Estonia, have chosen to implement the RI Witness™ System. In a strategic partnership, Next Clinics Group and CooperSurgical collaborate on developing state of the art products and solutions for IVF treatments – and as part of this, RI Witness is currently being rolled out to clinics across the network. RI Witness, using RFID technology to identify all dishes and samples, is designed to provide an additional layer of safety to clinical protocols, building confidence both with lab staff as well as patients, by minimizing the risk of errors.
Patient feedback: ‘The system was clear and easy to use. I feel comfortable knowing my eggs are collected and stored with this identification system. I feel secure knowing that even in many years to come, the straws containing my eggs will have been tracked with a barcoded system and the potential IVF cycle would continue in the same way. This helps the decision to return to this clinic, as that may not be the case in a bigger hospital setting’
For more info on how the RI Witness™ System works – please see the short video below