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Checklist for RFID Applications in Healthcare Settings

RFID Medical ApplicationsRFID (radio frequency identification) is an essential tool for all levels of hospital management due to its ability to identify and locate any person or persons and objects that have been tagged, this process is effective for distances that are near and far within reason. A further integral benefit that is afforded by RFID is the ability to offer assistance to the hospital with regards to the prevention of accidental release of infections, the protection of equipment, as well as additional security. All told the RFID will enhance a patients hospital experience.
Before investing in RFID, it is important to:
  • Check infrastructure thoroughly.
  • Due to the fact that excessive RFID tags that operate in a confined area may cause interference it is obligatory to evaluate or estimate the amount of items or persons that will be tagged thereby being confident that the particular hardware and the configuration will suffice. Should it be a requirement that numerous objects be tagged, a suggestion is that an alternative tag, one that discharges a signal only when in motion.
  • It is imperative the regions that the hospital require and the system are compatible, in other words be sure that the system has the ability to differentiate between the rooms or wards of the hospital no matter what the walls are constructed of. Furthermore prior to making any decision cognizance must be given to any extraordinary large items of equipment which could have an effect on readings of the RFID.
  • When deciding on what software to install, prior to making any purchase ascertain who will be using the system and what is their level on computer literacy – seeing that most RFID systems are operated by nursing staff and Doctors, it is imperative that a user friendly operating system be installed. All signs and symbols should be the same as those used in other hospitals, maps and floor plans should be in accordance with the facts. Ensure that the system menu directs the user directly and only to the option selected.
  • As the selected RFID software is user friendly, it stands to reason that prior to the programming of the default settings, the impending users are consulted on this aspect and the click to view is carefully and accurately set up.
  • The use of the system should be incorporated into the staffs regular workday schedules, and when logging into the system the specific characteristics of the user appear on the opening menu – for example:- when a Doctor will log in , the menu will appertain to his /her particular duties, the same will apply to nursing staff , cleaning staff and administrative staff when they log into the system. Time needs to be given to allowing all potential users to fully understand and appreciate the benefits of the system, failing which it will not be used and be detested. Furthermore in addition to the profile of the user opening on login, the possibility of adapting the display to each users requirements is a must.
  • It would prove futile should the RFID once installed not be utilized to its fullest capabilities in the enhancing of the patients visit with regards to decreasing the time spent in the waiting room and the receipt of test results. As far as security – the RFID assures the right medication has been given and also limit any chance of baby abduction in the hospital.

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