RFID and its applications in the Healthcare Industry
By : Priyanka | April 20, 2021
RFID adoption is on the rise these days. It has been successful in a variety of industries, including retail, manufacturing, and logistics. Though it is not a new technology, it has evolved significantly. RFID is now a powerful business technology for data collection, asset tracking, and asset and equipment movement. Numerous benefits exist in the use of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology in the hospital. These include the ability to provide real-time traceability of medical equipment, the location of your staff and even your patients.
It’s also used in supply chain management, inventory control, and waste management. Furthermore, it is used by the authorities to track prisoners and by farmers to track animals.
How can RFID Technology be used in the Healthcare Industry?
a) Patient Tracking and History Records
A patient’s wrist is girded with an RFID band. The hospital keeps track of the patient using RFID. The wristband stores all relevant information such as name, medical history, allergies, and so on. When a patient has been admitted for an extended period of time, RFID can assist the doctor in determining whether the patient is allergic to any medications. The patient’s historical record also aids in surgery by providing crucial information.
The RFID tag can be really handy, e.g. if a patient has memory problems, they may stray or get lost in a hospital. Through RFID wristbands, the hospital can know the exact whereabouts of the patient.
b) Equipment Tracking
Tracking machines, equipment, and vehicles is critical for hospitals. It not only informs them of the location of their vehicles, equipment, and so on, but it also aids in asset maintenance.
Hospital assets are critical and must always be ready for use. RFID tags are used to track assets as they move within and outside of the hospital.When it comes to the Operation Theatres, it is mandatory that assets be inspected on a regular basis to avoid unplanned breakdowns. The Asset Maintenance Management software comes in handy when dealing with such mission-critical assets.
c) Medicine and Pharmaceutical Tracking
Pharmaceuticals can be tracked and managed using RFID technology in hospitals. The system notifies users of the expiration dates and stock levels of medications. Because pharmaceuticals and medicines are the most frequently used and critical items in a hospital, each facility must maintain a consistent stock of essential medicines.
Medicines and surgical equipment are high-priced items. As a result, it is critical for healthcare facilities to keep stock and track of these items.
Benefits of using RFID in healthcare
a) RFID technology in hospitals, labs and entire supply chains offer real-time traceability of every blood sample or pallet of medication as well as real-time visibility into your inventory.
b) RFID enables your hospital to monitor the temperature of heat-sensitive drugs throughout the supply chain and take the necessary measures to maintain standards and compliance.
c) RFID in your healthcare organization provides immediate or real-time tracking and management of your staff across all types of patient care environments. This provides useful information when tracking productivity in a busy hospital.
d) Proximity cards offer a seamless and secure way of accessing specific areas within the facility instead of memorizing and entering PIN codes every time.
e) Passive RFID tags are low-cost and small and are easily attached to small devices. Passive tags are also able to tag many items at once. The tag can track assets and other items in areas where WiFi is not available.
RFID innovation has a lot of potentials to assist in the medical services of hospitals. Moreover, the system opens up new doors for enhanced security, operational effectiveness, and cost savings by tagging stocks, assets, patient data, and personnel records. RFID systems are mostly utilized in countries like the USA, France, Japan, Germany, UK, Italy, Spain, etc.
RFID technology in the healthcare industry must be implemented in order to improve the level of patient care. Furthermore, it helps hospitals in the better management of their assets and equipment.