RFID & Healthcare

By : Priyanka | November 7, 2019

Use of RFID in Healthcare

One of the primary functions of the healthcare industry is to care for patients. As baby boomers age and health insurance becomes more accessible to all, demand for health care is growing. Hospitals and their suppliers have focused on their main function rather than adopting technology and technologies that could enhance their bottom line and boost safety.

There are several ways in which healthcare companies and their suppliers can introduce RFID technology that will have a direct effect on their patient and personal safety.

1. Tracking of Surgical Instruments and Supplies:

To ensure that nothing was left inside the patient, all items used during surgery and present in the operating room must be counted. If all items are tagged with RFID, inventory becomes very simple and fast. This leaves more time for nurses to take care of patients and help physicians, which also improves the quality of care.

This system can also be linked to the hospital’s inventory and asset management scheme. To ensure that they were correctly obtained and sterilized before use and returned for refill after use, surgical kits can be further monitored for processing.

2. Access Control for Personnel and Patients:

A comparable scheme to tracking patients can also be used for medical staff and visitors to allow access to multiple areas of the facility.
For instance, only a certain individual would be permitted into an operating room, ICU, or supply closet.

3. Tracking:

It is essential to ensure that patients do not wander off purposefully or accidentally in mental health organizations, drug recovery centers or services for the elderly. In this case, an RFID tag placed on a patient in the form of a necklace, wristband, ankle strap attached to a shoe or sewn into clothing can help to authorize and open access to various parts of the building as well as deauthorize and close exits from the facility and provide alerts.

4. Injection and Drug Dispensation Safety:

By scanning an RFID tag integrated into the patient’s wristband and a drug bottle with a handheld reader, the system matches the drugs with the patient in the database and gives confirmation, or warn if there are mistakes in the wrong drugs or dosages. The system can also be linked to the inventory management system.

5. Pharmacy and Laboratory Labeling:

Tracking test tubes, vials, blood bags and prescription medicines using RFID avoids misidentification of human samples and medicines and improves precision and safety.

6. Temperature Tracking:

Temperature monitoring for drugs, blood and tissue samples, vaccines and other delicate materials guarantees that the medical products have been handled properly and are secure to use. Using a temperature monitoring scheme improves quality control, reduces waste, lowers costs, and most of all improves patient safety. There are many other applications for RFID that could improve healthcare safety, including asset management systems to guarantee that lifesaving machines are situated rapidly and are correctly maintained and accessible.

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