RFID / GPS BASED ERP’s SOLUTIONS - Hospital Managment

Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology is not new if we recollect that we used this technology to identify friendly aircraft during World War II. However, with the falling prices of passive tags, RFID has thus become attractive.

 

The RFID tags in healthcare may be applied to people (patients and staff) and to objects, allowing the readers on door frames, wards and treatment areas to detect and record interactions.

 

Some of the actual and proposed RFID’s applications with significant potential to provide advantages to the healthcare industry are: tagging patient wristbands with ID and care information, managing distribution of medications, coupling with nano sensor technology to remotely monitor patients via implant, provide inventory control, and prevent theft.

 

Even  as  the  healthcare  industry  debates  whether  RFID  can  deliver  its  promised benefits,  organizations  are  taking  steps  to  plan  the  implementation  of  RFID technology. RFID applications can be categorized as:

 

  • Staff, visitor ,Patient tracking and identification & Automatic Billing
  • Asset and Equipment management and tracking
  • Inventory management and control
  • Reducing blood administration errors
  • Making newborns more secure
  • Vehicle Access Control

In the healthcare industry, RFID technology is applied for patient tracking by offering wristbands containing RFID tags. The tags interact with hospital information system for automating administrative tasks like admissions, transfers and discharges.

At the point of entry, when the patient will be admitted in the hospital he/she will be given a wristband tag. The person at the reception will read the tag id of the tag with the help of desktop reader and will enter the corresponding details of the patient like name, address, contact details, date and time of admission etc.

 

The information will be stored in the hospital’s database against the tag id assigned to

the patient.

The staff and the visitors will be identified and Monitored throughout the hospital premises using ACTIVE  RFID  tags which they would wear as a BADGE. The readers placed within the campus will identify them in any zone within a radius of 40 meters and update the server instantly. This serves as not only a purpose of counting and updating attendance of the staff but also as a tool to an effective paging system to direct the concerned doctor or staff to the right ward.

As the patient moves across the hospital, the readers mounted at the corresponding places will record the movement of the patient.

 

The reader at the entrance of the ward where the patient is kept will record the tag id on  the  wrist  band  of  the  patient  and  will  update  the  corresponding  location information against the patient’s id in the database. So at any point of time doctors as well as visitors to that patient can get the correct information about the location of the patient.

 

Doctor can also view the patient history and records on the computer as well as on handheld reader for the corresponding patient thus avoiding any tedious paperwork.

 

Nurses serving patients can keep the detailed and accurate record of the medication given to the patient.


As the RFID system will help in tracking movements of patient inside the hospital, which can be further extended for automatic charging.

 

If the patient is being transferred from his ward to other facilities like X-Ray, Sonography etc for examination, as the patient is being moved the readers located at the doors of these facilities will record tag id of the patient and will update the database against the id of the patient, thereby avoiding any extra paperwork.

 

Thus patients will  be  tracked right from the  point of admission  to the point of discharge automatically. The software will calculate total charges against the patient and the bill will be generated.

 

The same technology can be used to identify doctors as well as nurses in the hospital premises as well as to locate their exact positions in the case of emergency.

The future of healthcare technology depends on the Positive Patient Identification (PPI) in reducing medical errors and adverse drug effects. Implementing RFID technology will ensure the basic rights of medical safety: right patient, right drug, right dose, right route and right time, by complying with the standards and regulations

 

The RFID system in patient tracking provides non-transferable positive patient identification which will save lives and money through reduced medical errors and increased patient safety. The RFID technology will improve system efficiency, preventing data entry and collection errors, patient tracking and communication. The storage technology will allow data transfer to and from host system and data storage. With large storage capacity and reading ranges, RFID tags will help faster processing than bar codes. Unlike bar code, RFID tags can be read through and around human body, clothing and non-metallic materials. The bands can also be programmed and printed by direct thermal or thermal transfer printers/programmers.

 

 Tagging of people or objects is interesting about RFID technology but intervention- capturing is the most appreciable potential of RFID. Tag readers connected to security systems help prevent equipment and babies/children from being removed without authority. This system can be used to track patients, to prevent blood transfusion errors, to uniquely identify drugs to alert staff for incorrect drug dosage or adverse reactions, to track instruments and equipments.

 

 This combination of automation, identification, integration and increased accuracy has drawn attention to RFID in the healthcare industry for benefits of reduced administration time, automation of lab procedures, effective management of supplies, stock and equipment, reduction in clinical and procedural errors.