Enhancing Patient Safety in Healthcare with RFID Technology

Feig Electronics

Enhancing Patient Safety in Healthcare with RFID

In a continuing series on The Identify Podcast, host Justin Starbird is joined by experts from across the FEIG Electronics team to discuss and explore the many uses and benefits of RFID technology, systems, and solutions relative to 2023 trends in healthcare.

Previous topics include:

In this installment, we explore the ways in which RFID systems and solutions are enhancing patient safety in healthcare.

In the ever-evolving landscape of healthcare, patient safety remains a top priority. To ensure the well-being of patients, healthcare providers are constantly seeking innovative solutions.

RFID is one such technology making a significant impact.

Director of Technical Solutions for FEIG Electronics Jason Warschauer and Medical Device Sales Director for HID Caryn Mills join us to discuss the ways in which leveraging RFID technology can improve patient identification, streamline workflows, reduce human error, and enhance overall patient safety.

Patient Safety: A Multifaceted Concern

When it comes to patient safety, the concept goes beyond physical protection within healthcare environments. 

Caryn, an expert in healthcare RFID solutions, explains that patient safety relies on the seamless integration of various factors, including patient identification, medical history, allergies, and treatment protocols.

The Role of RFID Technology in Patient Safety

RFID technology revolutionizes patient safety by connecting patients and providers with a wealth of information.

It all begins with the RFID wristband, which patients receive upon registration. This wristband acts as a comprehensive identifier, containing essential details such as medical procedures, medication allergies, and prescribed medications. With RFID readers from FEIG real-time tracking of patients throughout their hospital stay is made easy, offering doctors, nurses, and family members instant access to their whereabouts and workflow status.

From Manual Labor to Streamlined Processes

Before the implementation of RFID technology, patient identification relied on manual labor involving cross-referencing wristbands with paper records. This process was susceptible to human error, potentially compromising patient safety.

RFID readers from companies like FEIG, paired with RFID wristbands from HID, eliminate human error and automate the identification process.

By doing so, RFID technology enhances the quality, safety, and comfort of patients by significantly reducing the room for errors caused by exhausted or stressed healthcare professionals.

Integration and System Synergy

The decision-makers tasked with implementing RFID solutions face the challenge of seamlessly integrating various RFID applications to maximize patient safety.

RFID technology, originally used for inventory control and access control, has now extended to pharmaceutical tracking, supply chain management, and patient identification.

By aggregating data from different systems into a comprehensive database, healthcare facilities can ensure accurate medication administration, identify authorized staff members, and prevent errors caused by overlapping responsibilities.

Real-Life Use Cases and Benefits

This episode of The IdentifyPpodcast also highlights real-life use cases where RFID technology shines in enhancing patient safety.

One example is the use of specialized RFID tags embedded within medical sponges. These tags enable continuous monitoring of sponge usage during surgery, reducing the risk of leaving a sponge inside a patient.

By combining RFID readers from FEIG in cabinets and trash cans, the system tracks the number of sponges used and alerts healthcare professionals if any sponges are missing at the end of the surgery. This level of accountability ensures a safer surgical environment.

Furthermore, RFID technology extends to sterilization processes. With autoclavable RFID tags designed to withstand harsh environments, such as high temperatures and steam, healthcare facilities can ensure the proper sterilization of medical instruments and trays. This eliminates the risk of infections caused by ineffective sterilization procedures.

The FEIG-HID Partnership

The partnership between FEIG and HID plays a crucial role in delivering effective RFID solutions to the healthcare industry.

The mutual trust and collaboration between the two companies have led to the development of high-quality products, systems, and solutions that meet industry standards and certifications. 

With FEIG’s expertise in RFID readers and HID’s specialization in RFID tags and software, the partnership ensures seamless integration and robust solutions for patient safety.

RFID technology is transforming patient safety in the healthcare industry.

By leveraging RFID wristbands, readers, and specialized tags, healthcare facilities can streamline patient identification, track medication administration, improve inventory control, and prevent errors caused by human factors.

The use of RFID technology also eliminates the reliance on manual processes, reducing the risk of human error and enhancing patient safety.

The integration of RFID systems with other healthcare technologies creates a comprehensive database that provides a rich and accurate story of patient care. Decision-makers can implement RFID solutions that work in synergy with existing systems, resulting in improved security, safety, and peace of mind for both healthcare professionals and patients.

Real-life use cases demonstrate the significant benefits of RFID technology in healthcare. From patient and surgeon authentication to sponge tracking and medical device sterilization, RFID solutions offer increased safety, accuracy, and comfort. These applications contribute to reducing errors, preventing infections, and enhancing overall patient outcomes.

The partnership between FEIG and HID underscores the importance of collaboration and trust in delivering high-quality RFID solutions. With a deep understanding of the RFID ecosystem, both companies bring expertise in hardware, software, and backend systems, ensuring the successful implementation of RFID technology in healthcare settings.

As technology continues to advance, RFID technology will continue to play a crucial role in improving patient safety. By leveraging RFID solutions, healthcare providers can mitigate risks, optimize workflows, and prioritize patient well-being.

RFID technology is not only transforming patient identification but also reshaping the future of healthcare by creating a safer and more efficient environment for all.

To hear more on the ways in which RFID systems and solutions are enhancing patient safety in healthcare, listen to Empowering Patient Safety: Unveiling the Transformative Role of RFID in Healthcare, live on The Identify Podcast today!