The application of RFID in healthcare industry has led to a significant reduction in the incidence of medical errors. It has also played a good role in hospital management. RFID in healthcare industry can be used in many ways. It can adequately track, identify and track patients. It can also track assets and effectively prevent accidents such as shortages and loss of medical supplies.

Benefits of RFID in Healthcare

Medical errors have a tremendous impact on public health. It has occupied third place on the list of deaths in the United States. According to survey statistics, at least more than 40,000 or even as high as 100,000 people will die every year. The cause of death is often a preventable medical error.

Hospitals need to create a safer healthcare system to prevent medical errors. Studies have found that RFID technology can help reduce medical errors and improve patient safety. At the same time, it can also serve as a solution/prevention solution to overcome the problem of counterfeit drugs in the black market. RFID is probably the best choice. It has several benefits in the healthcare industry.

Applications of RFID in Healthcare: Patient Tracking

Incorporating RFID technology into wristbands. Each patient admitted to the hospital will have their information recorded. And entered into an RFID wristband by a dedicated person before admission. Patients will be given an RFID wristband with their personal information at admission. This will carry all the patient’s data, including name, age, case history, etc.

RFID Wrist for Patient Tracking in RFID Healthcare
RFID Wrist for Patient Tracking in RFID Healthcare

All medical procedures during the patient’s hospitalization, such as medication and surgery. It will be recorded. During treatment, the doctor can also read the patient’s information. And enter the treatment plan used according to the reader.

In 2015, Wayne HealthCare purchased an RFID patient tracking system in Ohio, USA.

In 2018, a medical center in the Platte area deployed Stanley Healthcare’s real-time location system. And adopted Hugs infant safety technology during the same period. This major initiative has dramatically improved the safety of newborn babies. Each newborn baby is given an RFID-tagged band around the ankle, and the new mother is given a matching wristband. The system alerts the on-call nurse when a newborn baby’s RFID labels are cut or tampered with. If the baby is brought within 5 feet of the exit, the system will sound an alarm and automatically lock the door.

Applications of RFID in Healthcare: Asset Tracking

For hospitals, patient safety comes first, and asset safety comes second. Statistically, nurses spend about 6,000 hours per month looking for equipment. RFID can be used for asset tracking. It can track various hospital equipment, including wheelchairs and other larger hospital property. RFID tags can effectively track assets and other items even when network connectivity is unavailable.

rfid in healthcare is about the security of medical devices
RFID in healthcare is about the security of medical devices

The RFID connected to the hospital network automatically alerts in specific situations. It will alert the on-call staff if the recovery room is about to be complete. It will also track in real-time to alert housekeepers that the operating room needs to be cleaned.

It also supports real-time data management. It can effectively prevent inventory loss or theft from occurring.

Applications of RFID in Healthcare: Inventory Management

RFID can provide better inventory management for hospitals. It can give you an overview of the entire hospital’s asset inventory, location, and more. From the smallest to how many of a particular medical item is available. The hospital can know even the amount of a particular medical item, the last user, and the location.

Using rfid in healthcare can effectively capture existing inventory information
Using RFID in healthcare can effectively capture existing inventory information

Surgical supplies and medications are every hospital’s most critical and consumed items. Hospitals must know the expiration dates of these items as well as inventory information. Let’s say a patient is missing or out of date medications at the most critical time of their treatment. This would result in a significant medical error. Every once in a while, we see news on TV about medical facilities being closed down and doctors having their licenses revoked. Most of them are caused by not updating the stock in time.

Hospitals around the world incur a large annual expense to replenish equipment. In the United States, nearly $4,000 is spent yearly on lost or stolen medical equipment.

Applications of RFID in Healthcare: Medication Verification

RFID provides automated medication verification for inpatient doses. It can automatically generate corresponding medication evidence. It can conduct audits for possible medical disputes in the future. A critical part of healthcare is medication, the most complex and error-prone treatment. The equipment for storing medicines is equipped with RFID tags and sensing devices. It can control the specific situation of medicines in real time. Thereby reducing the use of expired drugs, counterfeit drugs, and other incidences.

RFID in healthcare can effectively verify the authenticity of drugs
RFID in healthcare can effectively verify the authenticity of drugs

According to 2018 statistics, the revenue of the drug tracking sector is even as high as $778.88 million, in which RFID plays a vital role. RFID technology in healthcare helps to screen and detect counterfeit medicines. This dramatically avoids the distribution of counterfeit drugs in the market.

In April 2009, the American Journal of Gastroenterology published an article. The name is ‘A Quality Initiative to Decrease Pathology Specimen-Labeling Errors Using Radiofrequency Identification in a High-Volume Endoscopy Center.’ This study shows that labeling errors occur to a greater or lesser extent at each different period. Most of them are caused by incorrect patient labels or the absence of labels on the specimen bottles. The application of RFID to specimen bottles has resulted in a significant reduction in the incidence of errors.

The Challenges of Implementing RFID in Healthcare

There are various challenges to implementing RFID in the healthcare field. Cost is one of the biggest hurdles. This is because purchasing the necessary hardware and software can be expensive. Security is also an issue, as RFID technology is vulnerable to malicious attacks and unauthorized access. In addition, privacy issues need to be considered. This is because tracking a patient’s movements can violate their privacy.

Potential Applications of RFID in Healthcare

RFID technology can have a variety of applications in the healthcare field. In addition to patient and asset tracking, RFID can improve efficiency in the operating room. For example, you can use RFID to identify surgical instruments quickly. You can use RFID tags to monitor the temperature and humidity in the operating room. It allows these medical devices to be maintained in optimal condition during surgery.

The use of RFID in healthcare is becoming increasingly common. Many medical device manufacturers and other life science companies have adopted RFID technology. RFID in Healthcare is Critical to the Healthcare Industry. It can better assist medical staff in providing a high-quality medical environment for patients. Of course, RFID also has a highly prominent presence in other industries.

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