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Role of RFID in Healthcare

January 14, 2022 - by Parul Saini, Webmedy team


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Implementation of RFID is increasing in many industries like retail, manufacturing, and banking - from tracking logistics to counting items during warehouse inventory. The Healthcare industry is also adopting RFID technology, which enables hospitals to perform better by connecting diverse data. RFID helps them to track, locate and monitor every patient, staff member, and asset in their organization, thereby enabling their healthcare facility with business intelligence that helps deliver better outcomes.

What is RFID?

RFID stands for Radio Frequency Identification. This technology uses radio waves to enable communication and data transmission between a reader system and the object that has a special tag attached or carved-in. The technology of RFID is similar to barcode technology. However, the main difference is RFID works faster compared to the Barcode scanner. The other difference is you must scan a product or object via a barcode scanner to track the information, whereas RFID uses radio waves to track the product data.

Benefits of RFID in Healthcare

RFID is a very powerful tool for hospital management. Here is how RFID plays an essential role in healthcare and its benefits:

  • An RFID band is girded around the wrist of a patient. Through RFID, the hospital keeps track of the patient. The wristband carries all relevant data such as name, medical record, allergies, etc.
  • Effective tracking, management, and timely maintenance of expensive hospital equipment.
  • Easy medical device location and management thanks to RFID tracking devices development.
  • Reduced cost and increased productivity.
  • Improved outcomes for patients and providers.
  • Optimized working schedules and routines for healthcare professionals.
  • Eliminated human errors and loss of valuable data.
  • Enhanced security in hospitals.
  • Guaranteed quality of medical products thanks to RFID-based authentification.
  • Increased measures against infection spreading, theft of medication, and hospital property.

Applications of RFID in Healthcare

RFID has a lot to offer for Healthcare Industry. RFID technology applications have been adopted in many established and emerging healthcare organizations, including hospitals, labs, and private clinics. Here we have listed some applications of RFID in Healthcare.

  • Healthcare Monitoring

    RFID technology in hospitals, labs, and entire supply chains offers real-time traceability of every blood sample or pallet of medication as well as real-time visibility into your inventory. RFID enables the hospital to monitor the temperature of heat-sensitive drugs throughout the supply chain and take the necessary measures to maintain standards and compliance.

  • Secure Mother-Infant Tracking

    Mothers and babies should be identified in the delivery room immediately after birth, and mothers and babies should be transferred out of the delivery room before other patients are admitted to the delivery room. In addition to the function of the patient identification, the identification of the newborn must be a match between the mother and the baby, because newborn babies have similar characteristics and lack understanding and expression ability if they are not effectively identified. Two non-transferable RFID tags for mothers and newborns, with information on the label being the same, including the full name of the mother and the identification number, the gender of the baby, the date and time of birth, and other content that the hospital believes can match the mother and child.

  • Epidemic Infection Tracking Control

    Combined with the infectious disease epidemic tracking control system and the healthcare institution's exposure history RFID tracking control system, each epidemic prevention, and government unit can instantly and accurately grasp the dynamic information of the entire process, thus preventing the recurrence of nosocomial infection control problems. The infective waste generated by the home isolation and healthcare institutions can use the global positioning system to track and control the special garbage trucks at the same time when the health unit issues the home isolation notice, and the relevant units can immediately grasp the whereabouts. Most importantly, transparent dynamic tracking information can eliminate people's doubts.

Summary

RFID innovation has a lot of potentials to assist in the medical services of hospitals. Moreover, the system opens up new opportunities for enhanced security, operational effectiveness, and cost savings by tagging stocks, assets, patient data, and personnel records. Even though RFID guarantees several advantages for the healthcare sector, the adoption of RFID innovation has not been as striking as envisioned and still falls behind when contrasted among different industries. RFID technology in the healthcare industry must be implemented to improve the level of patient care. Furthermore, it helps hospitals in the better management of their assets and equipment.

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