Journal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics

, Volume 33, Issue 9, pp 1215–1222 | Cite as

Electronic witness system in IVF—patients perspective

  • Marina Forte
  • Federica Faustini
  • Roberta Maggiulli
  • Catello Scarica
  • Stefania Romano
  • Christian Ottolini
  • Alessio Farcomeni
  • Antonio Palagiano
  • Antonio Capalbo
  • Filippo Maria Ubaldi
  • Laura RienziEmail author
Assisted Reproduction Technologies



The objective of this study is to evaluate patient concerns about in vitro fertilization (IVF) errors and electronic witness systems (EWS) satisfaction.


The design of this study is a prospective single-center cohort study.


The setting of this study was located in the private IVF center.


Four hundred eight infertile patients attending an IVF cycle at a GENERA center in Italy were equipped with an EWS.


Although generally recognized as a very rare event in IVF, biological sample mix-up has been reported in the literature. For this reason, some IVF laboratories have introduced EWS with the aim to further reduce the risk of error during biological samples handling. Participating patients received a questionnaire developed through a Likert scale ranging from 1 to 6.

Main outcomes measure(s)

Patient concerns about sample mix-up without and with an EWS were assessed.


90.4 % of patients expressed significant concerns relating to sample mix-up. The EWS reduced these concerns in 92.1 % of patients, 97.1 % of which were particularly satisfied with the electronic traceability of their gametes and embryos in the IVF laboratory. 97.1 % of patients felt highly comfortable with an IVF center equipped with an EWS. Female patients had a significantly higher appreciation of the EWS when compared to their male partners (p = 0.029). A significant mix-up event occurred in an Italian hospital during the study and patient’s satisfaction increased significantly towards the use of the EWS after the event (p = 0.032).


EWS, by sensibly reducing the risk for sample mix-up in IVF cycles, has been proved to be a trusted strategy from patient’s perspective.


Embryo labeling IVF mix-up Traceability Witnessing system Patient’s perspective 



We are very thankful to the patients who completed the questionnaire and consented to this analysis.

Compliance with ethical standards

The institutional review board of the Valle Giulia Clinic approved the study, and signed informed consent was obtained from all patients recruited.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marina Forte
    • 1
  • Federica Faustini
    • 1
  • Roberta Maggiulli
    • 1
  • Catello Scarica
    • 1
    • 2
  • Stefania Romano
    • 1
  • Christian Ottolini
    • 2
  • Alessio Farcomeni
    • 3
  • Antonio Palagiano
    • 4
  • Antonio Capalbo
    • 1
    • 5
  • Filippo Maria Ubaldi
    • 1
  • Laura Rienzi
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.G.ENE.R.A. Centre for Reproductive MedicineClinica Valle GiuliaRomeItaly
  2. 2.The Bridge CentreLondonUK
  3. 3.Department of Public Health and Infectious DiseasesSapienza University of RomeRomeItaly
  4. 4.I University of NaplesNaplesItaly
  5. 5.GENETYXMolecular Genetics LaboratoryVicenzaItaly

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