Tuesday, February 13, 2007

RFID application in hospital

Source: TheStar InTech (29 June 2006, page IT18)

RFID tags better but cost more.

The article discussed the application of RFID in hospital. Some of the facts discussed:
  • RFID tag stores information
  • Doctors and nurses carrying RFID tag readers, perhaps attached to laptop PCs or personal digital assistants (PDAs), could retrieve up-to-date information from the patient’s wristband if the hospital information system is down.
  • Convenient for doctors who could refer to or update patient records from the bedside, as they make clinical observations, prescribe medication or order medical procedures.
  • Implementing RFID in a hospital information system could help cut down on errors as well as reduce the clerical workload for nurses, freeing them to get on with actual nursing.
  • RFID tags are more physically robust than barcode tags, are reusable.
However, the limitations faced are:
  • No Malaysian private hospital has converted from its barcode-based information system to an RFID-based one.
  • Cost could be an issue, with RFID tagging systems costing about twice as much as barcode-based ones.
  • RFID tags cost from 15 cents (54sen) to US$10 (RM38) each – depending on data capacity and whether the tag is “active” (carries a radio transmitter), among other things – a barcode tag only costs as much as the paper it is printed on.
  • Issuing doctors and nurses with additional IT equipment ranging from Tablet PCs to PDAs and laptop PCs.
  • This would add to the implementation costs to the hospital,
  • Raise potential security and privacy risks for confidential patient data if the devices are lost or stolen.

Sooner or later, RFID will be a common application in hospitals, and may be in schools to.

1 comment:

danny said...

RFID is probably gonna take time but the Technology is here. We provide active/passive tag for healthcare sector in Malaysia.

For more information, email me at