RFID Solutions In Healthcare
Healthcare is an industry where the implementation of better tracking for both inventory and valuable assets makes a lot of sense, and leveraging RFID technology is a smart choice for organizations looking to maximize their efficiency. RFID Pros has been an integral part of helping many national healthcare providers implement solutions that not only play a critical role in locating valuable assets (such as crash carts or surgical instruments), but also in helping streamline existing processes with more precise data collection in shorter times.
RFID is an emerging technology in the healthcare industry because the idea of using resources more effectively, in turn, allows for hospital staff to spend less time tracking supplies and more time delivering excellent patient care. With some organizations already implementing RFID solutions, more ways to use the technology to adopt leaner supply chain practices associated with manufacturing are being discovered; which leads to lower costs and improved safety.
Applications for RFID solutions from healthcare organizations
Equipment and asset tracking: Equipment might range from wheelchairs and cleaning machines to crash carts and multimillion-dollar imaging machines. Some of this equipment is life-saving and must be available immediately. Other pieces of equipment are easy to misplace or have stolen which is costly and inconvenient. Then, there are computers, thermometers, specimen vials, blood pressure cuffs, and IV stands that are part of the everyday routine. Strategically placed readers and antennas can help track equipment and asset locations as they move throughout the hospital so you know what is available and where to find it.
Reducing supply overstock: Inventory management isn’t only crucial for managing costs, it also makes sure proper equipment can be located timely in crucial situations. A system that uses primary and secondary batches of supplies works well in the healthcare setting. Each batch should have a tag containing a passive RFID transponder. After a primary batch has been depleted, the next batch moves forward when someone places the tag on a wall-mounted RFID reader board near the storage unit. Therefore, replenishment notifications can become automated and notify personnel with a purchase request.
Accurate data and reduced error: RFID makes data entry automatic and reduces the chance of any entry errors. Some patients see a wide variety of specialists and healthcare professionals so RFID would ensure that records are kept consistent and constantly updated between personnel. RFID tags store patient data in a database on the network’s server. In turn, the system can register patient ID as well as blood sample data and correct patient medications. As a result, both clerical and even fatal medical errors can be drastically reduced.
Infection control: RFID is effective at not only identifying the right patient and medication but it also ensures compliance with other practices. Most importantly, a good RFID system can guarantee that surgical equipment goes through proper sterilization processes. Embedded tags will verify that tools have gone through sterilization checkpoints and that they have gone through for an appropriate amount of time. This is just another way how RFID can eliminate critical medical errors that jeopardize patient safety.
Track and trace prescription drugs: RFID tags can be used to track medications after they leave the manufacturer, which must be done according to federal law. RFID makes this process easier while also possessing information about drug expiration and if medications have hit the appropriate checkpoints on their way to the patients.