Ida Lumintu

Graduation Semester and Year




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Industrial Engineering


Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering

First Advisor

Erick C Jones


Retained surgical items (e.g., sponges, needles, and instruments) are classified as preventable medical errors that cost the United States about $17 to $29 billion each year and the most frequently reported sentinel events in 2011 as reported by the Joint Commission. This research proposes a new approach to decrease such preventable medical errors by developing a Radio Frequency Identification-based Real Time Locating System (RTLS) for surgical operations (RfSurg). Patient safety concern, e.g. the excessive exposure of x-ray to the patient after the surgery, is a major motivation behind the need of RTLS in this research. The use of RTLS techniques in this research may eliminate the need of the x-ray procedures and improve the time needed to find the lost surgical equipment in the body. This research was performed in a non-clinical setting at the RAID Labs - RFID Laboratory, Woolf Hall Building 4th Floor of the University of Texas at Arlington. The results obtained from this research have proven that the RFID-based RTLS was able to preliminarily answer the research question of: "If the surgical equipment is detected in the patient's body, can it be located in a timely fashion during surgery?" This research also has proven that the smaller error of localization will improve the time for the research participants to find the tag. This non-clinical study can be extended to further effort for prototyping the RTLS for surgical operations (RfSurg) with regard to its current limitations, e.g. elaborating some explanatory factors that could explain their relationship to the localization error.


Engineering | Operations Research, Systems Engineering and Industrial Engineering


Degree granted by The University of Texas at Arlington