Benefits of standards-based RFID within healthcare
RFID technology can benefit every area of the hospital by improving processes, reducing manual data entry and enabling medical track and locate of medical assets, specimen samples, patients and anything else that needs to be tracked.
1. Patient Admissions
- Manual processes of handwritten wristbands or printed wristbands with non-unique identification numbers.
- Leads to misidentification of patients as handwriting can be illegible.
- Can lead to patient receiving the wrong treatment.
- Tracking patients throughout the hospital with RFID-enabled wristbands containing a unique individual patient identifier
- RFID wristbands feed information to the patient’s electronic healthcare record (EHR).
- Enables staff to update patient records in real time.
- Track and locate patient records with RFID labels containing unique document identification numbers.
- Reduces instances of patient misidentification.
- Enables hospital staff to view patient records in real time.
- Tracks the patient treatment throughout the hospital from beginning to end.
2. Specimen Tracking
- Pre-printed labels could be placed on the wrong specimen sample.
- Hand written labels can be misread leading to the wrong test results being given to the wrong patient, or the wrong test being carried out
- Specimen samples can be lost or misplaced while on route to the lab..
- RFID label on a specimen sample (encoded with a unique identifier (SSCC)) are tracked and time-stamped throughout the hospital.
- Enables the phlebotomist to print and apply unique labels at the patient bedside with mobile printer.
- Hospital staff can receive test results more quickly and closes the loop of the specimen sample’s journey.
- Reduce instances of lost or misplaced samples.
- Ensures that the right results go to the right patient supported by unique identification
- Hospital staff can analyse time between sample being taken to when it is received in the lab, improving process time.
3. Pharmacy management
- Incorrect medication given to the wrong patient due to similar medication names or packaging
- Lack of visibility of medication inventory levels can lead to out-of-stocks, precautionary excess stock holdings and poor product rotation (based on shelflife)
- Cost of expired medication due to lack of data and visibility
- RFID label with unique product identifier (serialised GTIN) on medication packs enabling visibility of both stock levels and location.
- Improved pharmacy operations with unique visibility of products by type, batch number and expiry date
- Track medication from pharmacy to the patient bedside.
- Reduce incidences of wrong medication given to the wrong patient.
- Improve pharmacy management; more efficient and effective dispensing & inventory processes
- Reduces likelihood of out-of-stock and expired medication
4. Asset management
- Poor use of hospital staff time spent locating misplaced medical assets.
- Maintenance history of medical assets not efficiently tracked or monitored, increasing the likelihood of assets breaking down and compliance risk to meet service guidelines
- Hospitals might underutilise assets due to lack of inventory information on assets.
- Tagging medical assets with an RFID tag incorporating a unique Global Individual / Returnable Asset Identifier (GIAI or GRAI) enables the hospital to locate assets in real time.
- Asset management software enables maintenance staff to efficiently track and monitor the service history of assets.
- Asset usage analysis supports the best use of assets to their full potential.
- Quickly locate medical assets when needed.
- Reduce instances of medical asset malfunctioning with more efficient asset maintenance.
- Full visibility of medical asset details including usage, maintenance history and location.