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Can I Use a Single Radio Frequency of RFID to Track Hospital Equipment?

Posted By RFID Journal, 04.17.2013

When an item leaves one medical center, we need it to still be readable when it arrives at another location.

—Name withheld

———

Unfortunately, there is no standard for tracking medical equipment at hospitals. Some facilities employ real-time location system (RTLS) solutions with Wi-Fi tags, while others use ZigBee, Dash7 or proprietary systems.

There might be hospitals within your area that all utilize the same system, so your tags might be able to communicate with another hospital's solution, but there is no universal numbering scheme to identify medical equipment. So if one of your wheelchairs or gurneys were to leave the premises with a patient transferring to another hospital, it would not be possible for you to look up its current location, or even the hospital where it presently resides, in order to return that asset to your facility. This, in fact, is one of the issues holding back more rapid deployment of RFID within the health-care sector.

—Mark Roberti, Founder and Editor, RFID Journal

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