Our laboratory at Medfem Fertility Clinic maintains an efficient and trusted system of patient sample identification, using multiple identifiers on sample labels with double witnessing of each critical step of treatment. To attain an even higher level of care, Medfem has now installed RI Witness, the most secure system available for IVF laboratories.
RI Witness uses Radiofrequency Identification technology (RFID) to monitor critical laboratory procedures, creating a complete record of each stage of a patient’s IVF cycle. The system tracks and records all activity and locks the patient’s identity to the sperm, eggs, and embryos at every stage of the treatment. If a patient’s sample comes into proximity with those of other patients, the embryologist is alerted, and chart locked until the oversight is corrected. RI Witness provides our staff and patients with the peace of mind that the most secure and best possible procedures are being employed to prevent any laboratory errors.
RI Witness works from the start of the IVF treatment when the patient is assigned an RI Witness ID card that has their identity assigned to it, to the freezing of sperm, eggs and embryos and finally to embryo transfer.
The RI Witness system also logs the time, date, person completing the procedure and the person double witnessing at the start and end of the cycle. These records are kept in each patient´s notes. The system is completely safe. Extensive tests have been carried out to ensure that there is no danger to any of the samples placed onto the witnessing system. Medfem is the first infertility clinic in Africa to have installed RI Witness.
RI Witness: how does it work? Each couple is given an RFID card containing their identity. The identity cards and the RFID chips or tags go to the readers located in the laboratory: they will act as an electronic signature during the whole IVF process. The RFID tags are put on all recipients (culture and transfer dishes, containers and preparation tubes) that will subsequently contain their samples.
In the laboratory, a reader and an RI Witness compact touch screen are placed on each workstation where gametes and embryos are transferred from one container to the other. The readers constantly control the workstations so that we work with only one patient at the same time, which guarantees traceability.
RI Witness card readers are located next to the receiving station of the oocyte puncture and next to the embryo transfer station to guarantee that the patient’s identity corresponds to that of the oocyte and the embryos.
When the ID card is placed in the reader, the system automatically shows the information regarding the patient.
RFID chip readers are also used to prepare the spermatozoon to help the sample container control as well as the multiple necessary tubes.
At the end of the attempt, it is possible to edit a report on all the interventions carried out during the attempt: by whom, checked by whom, what time, and why. This information is then stored.