Improve Patient Safety and Satisfaction with RFID in Healthcare


Patient Safety

Healthcare organizations are increasingly leveraging RFID technology to manage routine tasks. Better inventory visibility, precise laboratory sample tracking and accurate drug labeling are a few ways hospitals, laboratories, and surgery centers use RFID to improve operations and increase patient safety.

In 2019, people in the U.S. spent $3.8 trillion on healthcare goods and services, up from about 2.5 trillion in 2009. This demand growth, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, put a tremendous burden on healthcare organizations to manage internal processes while providing the levels of satisfaction and safety patients expect.

RFID Applications in Healthcare

RFID applications have been growing in recent years, but there is still a long way to go. In a recent survey of hospital leaders, nearly half said they still used manual spreadsheets for supply chain management. RFID’s precise tracking and data collection abilities make it an ideal technology for a long list of healthcare applications. Here are a few examples of RFID applications in healthcare:

  • Inventory and supply chain management
  • Treatment tracking
  • Medical device identification
  • Equipment maintenance tracking
  • Consumables monitoring
  • Medical document control
  • Patient identification
  • Personnel, vehicle and asset access control
  • Laboratory sample tracking

Innovative RFID Solutions in Healthcare

As the technology becomes more prevalent, healthcare organizations that see the benefits look for new and innovative solutions to increase efficiency and improve patient experience.

Hospital Smart Shelves

A smart shelf is a cabinet equipped with an RFID reader and a series of antennas. Supplies that arrive at the facility receive an RFID tag before being stocked for use. Each item placed on the shelf passes the antenna , and the reader records the action. When an employee removes an item, the reader records its removal. Smart shelves in different locations can be connected. If an item leaves the cabinet on one floor and is returned unused to another floor, the inventory system immediately records the status. This accurate management of supplies and consumables easily ties items used to a particular patient’s chart for billing. The immediate visibility into inventory makes ordering more efficient with less waste.

Tracking Patients Through the Surgery Journey

A healthcare facility with 19 operating rooms used RFID to automate patient tracking from reception to the operating room and into the surgical short-stay unit for recovery. In this fast-paced operating room environment, the legacy manual processes just weren’t fast enough for maximum efficiency.

The solution was to affix RFID tags to the binder containing the patient’s chart and position readers at each entry door. Once the internal team established a workflow, the new RFID system improved bed use efficiency and saved $100,000 a year in maintenance costs. The most significant change was that nurses and hospital staff had more time to focus on patient care. 

What is your biggest healthcare challenge?

FEIG builds our RFID readers with the utmost care and precision. What is your biggest challenge? Is it closely tracking laboratory samples, monitoring asset location or ensuring compliance with equipment maintenance schedules? FEIG quality-built RFID technology delivers the data you need to make your best decisions and ensure patient satisfaction and safety.

Learn more about FEIG’s RFID solutions for healthcare.