Economics

Protecting patients and the bottom line

Retained surgical sponges (RSS) have a costly ripple effect, impacting health, mental wellbeing, quality of life, finances and facility reputation. SurgiCount Technology not only helps protect your patients, but also your bottom line.

It pays to do the right thing

Facility accountability to stem preventable events is mounting as is evident by the increasing cost and consequences for retained surgical items.

  • Government and commercial insurer non-payment policies for preventable events and corrective care
  • State fines, some that increase for repeat violations ($50K, $75K, $100K)
  • Minimized earnings from lump-sum ACO or bundled payment arrangements
  • Low quality rankings by states, standards organizations and patient safety groups
  • Damaging consumer media
  • Rising legal and indemnity costs
  • Staff time redirected to event reporting, root cause analyses and corrective action planning
In 2013, medical malpractice insurer CRICO paid up to $75,000 in first-year capital costs to encourage member hospitals to adopt automated sponge counting technology.12

$473,000 =  average overall indemnity payout (Risk Management Foundation, Harvard Medical Institution)12

$105,000 =  the physician-only portion of an indemnity payment (Physician Insurers Association of America/PIAA)12

$1.8 million, or $60,000 per sponge =  California state fines for30 retained sponge cases12

$77,512 =  average cost of corrective surgerydue to a retained sponge (CMS)12


“The SurgiCount Sponges are more expensive than regular sponges. But they’re less expensive than a retained item… the cost of something retained would be much higher. It’s also better patient care. It’s not just about cost, but the trauma and inconvenience to a patient.”

Don Owens, Vice President divisional director of surgical services
Medical Center Hospital, Odessa, TX

RSI malpractice costs contribute $94.50 to the cost of each surgery performed in the U.S.12


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Stryker Corporation or its divisions or other corporate affiliated entities own, use or have applied for the following trademarks or service marks: SAFE-T Lap, Safety-Sponge, Stryker, SurgiCount, SurgiCount360, and SurgiCounter. All other trademarks are trademarks of their respective owners or holders.