While RFID technology is not new, it is still finding new and useful applications in industries worldwide. RFID in healthcare is an area in which the technology has truly shown its merits. Several daily processes have been made more efficient and easy to perform thanks to RFID technology. As we all know, a more efficient hospital is a more effective hospital. Today, we are going to go over the way that RFID can help reshape the way we think of healthcare and how professionals are already utilizing it.
What is RFID?
RFID, or radio-frequency identification, is a technology we are still finding tons of applications for every day. RFID in healthcare is a new topic of discussion, especially as more and more of its uses become prevalent.
RFID works by having two pieces of technology near each other. One, we’ll call the reader, must be near a “receiver” of sorts. These receivers are placed on an item and denote to the reader what they are paired with when prompted. The way you prompt a receiver is to get it within reach of the reader where a passive radio signal is being sent.
This works very similarly to a barcode scanner, except instead of a reader picking out specific lines on a picture, a reader simply must sense the presence of a receiver. Then all of that data is transferred to the reader and stored in a database of your choosing.
The largest and most incredibly helpful aspect of RFID in healthcare is the tracking of important equipment and inventory. Hospitals, pharmacies, and other medical units go through an immense amount of equipment every year. Medications, tools, supplies, and basically everything they have is ordered, especially for a niche job.
To keep track of this, it is common to have boards and cabinets filled to the brim with inventory papers and reports. These eventually moved to digital files, but they were still time-consuming to fill out. Think of all the time that was spent on sorting gloves that could have gone towards those in need, or more important clerical tasks.
RFID allows the job to be done in a much faster way. Once the radio tags are read (of which you can do more than one at a time) then the data they represent can be immediately noted. Now hundreds of items can be put into a digital inventory in minutes with RFID technology. This frees up time for workers to get to what matters most, the care of the sick and injured.
If you are looking to upgrade your current staff’s technology to RFID, you may need some help along the way. Thankfully, WillDom has everything you need to help learn the ins and outs of RFID in healthcare. With professionals in a world-spanning roster and experience in every section of technology, we can find your perfect match. Simply go to our page all about RFID in healthcare and learn what we can do. We can’t wait to help out!
Sadly, some people try to exploit our healthcare system and take advantage of the price of equipment or medication. RFID can also help with this problem and nearly eradicate it. The data an RFID tag has can also include the source and destination for a particular package. This makes it so that no faulty or purposefully harmful items make it into our hospitals.
Let’s say some cruel person tries to sell pain medication to your local pharmacy under the guise of a corporation. A well-equipped pharmacy would be able to read the RFID tags on their shipments and find anomalies, or simply refuse to work without attached tags. It is highly unlikely that a false supplier could mimic the specifics needed for a true RFID tag, and thus they would be found out.
This alone has helped millions of shipments find their right home as well as unjustified sales get caught. RFID in healthcare is not just about making things faster, but also making the entire process safer for the patient and the staff.
Patient and Staff Identification
Speaking of safety, RFID tags can also be used to help identify those who should and should not be in a building. With RFID tagging, security breaches have dropped immensely.
For patients, doctors can provide keycards or bracelets that specify one’s name, ailment, address, contact information and so much more. This not only allows patients to be admitted faster, but also to verify who they are. Should someone try to fake their identity to get a chemical or drug, now they can’t even get past the desk. These tags can also be helpful to track patients as they are moved from one ward to the next.
For doctors and pharmacists, these keycards can be put into ID badges. Only those with an RFID-tagged badge can get past certain doors and into entire wings if necessary.
RFID in healthcare is such a huge innovation that its benefits cannot be ignored. More and more buildings and staff will be moving over to this system, and we couldn’t encourage them more. If you need support, do not hesitate to connect with us on LinkedIn or visit our website. We will be happy to help you out!