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What Could Be in Health Care
Many hospitals are using RFID for one application or another, but no one has yet put it all together.
Sep 10, 2012—Last week, RFID Journal hosted its RFID in Health Care 2012 conference and exhibition, which was held in Boston, Mass. As I listened to the presenters, I was extremely impressed. Each speaker revealed how radio frequency identification was delivering benefits to his or her hospital within a specific area. But it made me think about what could be. Imagine if a facility deployed RFID within every area of its operations, rather than just one or two.
Todd Pawlicki, a professor at the University of California, San Diego, and the director of the school's Department of Radiation Medicine and Applied Sciences, described how the university's Moores Cancer Center is employing EPC Gen 2 RFID tags to track the amount of time that each patient awaits radiation treatment, and to verify that the correct equipment is being utilized. The solution has enabled the center to ensure patient safety and reduce waiting times (see Oncology Clinic Gains Efficiency, Safety With RFID).
Robert M. Sheridan, the director of interventional radiology at Massachusetts General Hospital's Department of Imaging, told attendees that an RFID-enabled inventory-management system enabled the facility to capture an additional $2.1 million in charges over the course of a year that would not have been recorded without the RFID system, thereby resulting in $1 million in additional reimbursements from insurance companies. The system delivered a 400 percent return on investment.
Diane Hubisz, the operations director at Tufts Medical Center's CardioVascular Center, said her 415-bed teaching hospital, in Boston, has saved $1.5 million over two years on stents, angioplasty balloons and other implantable devices, based on information provided by an RFID inventory-management system for its catheterization lab.
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