Medical care has been facilitated by RFID-based technology in more ways than we ever imagined, from tracking patients to tracking equipment in real-time. And this merely scratches the surface!
If you see an elderly person at the hospital with an RFID tag around their ankle or wrist, don’t be surprised. Interestingly, the newbies firstly come across this RFID technology.
A number of trends are affecting the healthcare market, such as telemedicine influencing the future of healthcare, AI in healthcare, and so on. However, RFID (Radio-frequency identification) is the most recent technology making waves.
How does RFID work in a Healthcare Industry?
RFID-based wireless communication systems have been used by leading healthcare providers for several years to ensure their patients are always under their watch, Especially newborns who may be abducted or exchanged. This is achieved through a simple mechanism. On the ankle of every newborn baby, a small, lightweight RFID tag with a lot of capability is attached.
An RFID system is identified by a unique ID, and signals are transmitted via a secure network to the monitoring end for real-time tracking of its location. Whenever the RFID moves beyond the defined perimeter or is tampered with, an alarm is triggered to alert staff or security. RFID can literally save a life. For example, mothers immediately following childbirth, get a similar RFID tag which pairs with their newborns to avoid mix-ups.
On the other hand, another example is elderly patients with cognitive issues. Hospitals and elderly care facilities have to deal with them because they tend to wander off-site. Long-term patients with high elopement risk make it more difficult for hospitals to confine them in a safe zone.
The RFID tags are, however, offering a huge respite for health workers who are faced with much more than simply babysitting the elderly with mobile apps.
RFID Applications in Healthcare
Let’s take a glance at the different RFID applications in healthcare. These are the major RFID applications used throughout the health care industry.
RFID Asset Management
Besides tracking patients, RFID location tracking is also used in the management of healthcare assets. Because medical equipment is so expensive, it is crucial to prevent theft and tampering. Providing real-time location of healthcare assets with RFID is the easiest and most cost-effective method of tracking healthcare assets.
With digitization abounding, hospitals can also benefit from RFID technologies by locating a specific piece of equipment right away rather than having to look in many different departments across the organization. Hospitals can manage their inventory by tagging their medical equipment and single-use items, like latex gloves, syringes, etc., which may be stored in a warehouse at a distant location. Healthcare jobs are made much easier by RFID medical devices.
Hospitals and pharmacies also use RFID for authentication. Counterfeiting has become a frequent practice because some life-saving medications are extremely expensive and limited. Using an encrypted RFID tag on or within the packaging, however, hospitals are able to verify authenticity.
There are endless benefits of RFID Technology in healthcare. Moreover, to ensure the sterilization of surgery tools, linens, and textiles between patients, cancer centers can implant RFID tags on them. We provide the best RFID solutions in Dubai.
Although infant abductions are rare, it doesn’t mean they can’t happen. Infants have been abducted from hospitals several times, but they have not always been reported.
With the baby protection system you chose, infants would be tracked throughout the birthing unit and throughout the hospital over the hospital’s secure Wi-Fi network. An In-charge can track newborn babies with the help of an Infant protection system based on the RFID tracking system.
Improving Efficiency in Patient Care
In hospitals with limited staff, RFID can help solve the biggest challenge. Deployed cloud-based software and RFID technology in hospitals to improve turnaround time is enormous in critical situations where every minute can mean the difference between life and death.
RFID not only improves the efficiency as it is used in operating rooms but also makes blood sampling and medication administration faster, thereby allowing health workers to serve more patients within the specified time period.
RFID streamlines the process right from patient registration through pre-op assessment and surgery to post-op recovery. The strategically placed sensors across the waiting area then track the patient’s location in real-time. The system alerts staff if a patient is waiting longer than they should so the staff can plan alternatives for avoiding excessive waits.
Furthermore, RFID-enabled systems can be configured to alert users directly to smartphones with patient workflow information so that arrangements can be made in advance to avoid any errors.
The system informs staff when a recovery room is about to overflow or when an operating room needs to be cleaned and sanitized.
Temperature and Humidity Monitoring with RFID
Food, vaccine and medication storage need to be at a certain temperature to preserve the integrity or efficacy of the product. Therefore, it becomes crucial to monitor the temperature and humidity inside storage units at all times.
An advanced system using RFID and Wi-Fi was deployed by Covenant Health across their seven hospitals in order to monitor humidity and temperature in refrigerators, storage units and even operating rooms. This eliminates the need for manual temperature monitoring, which may not be the most effective use of their time. Temperature tracking automates compliance and helps protect perishable assets.
Real-time temperature data is transmitted from the RFID-enabled tag to the cloud-based software. Hospital staff will receive text or email notifications if temperatures exceed or fall below the recommended range. The use of RFIDs is not just confined to these applications; they can also be used to measure the performance of doctors and nurses.
The use of RFIDs in various combinations with existing systems can contribute to improving healthcare facilities and saving workers’ time and effort while providing proper care for patients.
Among the benefits listed here is a higher level of patient safety, compliance with healthcare regulations, a reduced turnaround time, and an efficient process of administration. The scope for improvement and new inventions are vast, and RFID healthcare solutions are coming up. Feel free to contact us if you have any doubts or questions regarding RFID technology and its enormous benefits. WOW RFID provides the best RFID solutions in Dubai.