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Bahrain's King Hamad University Hospital Adopts Comprehensive RFID and RTLS Solution

The system combines Wi-Fi RTLS with UHF and HF passive RFID technologies and wireless sensors on a single platform, to track patients, staff members, equipment, medications and temperatures within the new state-of-the-art facility.
By Claire Swedberg
When a patient is admitted into the hospital, an employee scans a bar-coded number attached to his or her paperwork, which is then linked to a digital record of that individual in the patient administration system. The worker scans the bar-coded ID number printed on the patient's wristband, which is the same ID as the one encoded to the wristband's tag. Thereafter, Al Khalifa explains, the system will be able to determine, via RTLS data, where each patient is located, as well as which physician or other health-care staff member is with the patient, though the facility is not yet utilizing that functionality.

For the purpose of monitoring medication administration, employees will carry a Unitech PA600 Mobile Clinical Assistant (MCA) handheld HF RFID reader supporting the ISO 15693 and 14443 standards. Each medication is labeled with a 13.56 MHz RFID inlay and printed bar-code number. As such, a worker will need only read the ID of a patient's HF RFID wristband, along with the bar-coded ID printed on the front of his or her own Ekahau tag, and the medication's HF tag, to create a record in the Symphony system, thereby indicating which medication the patient has received, as well as when and from whom. The HF system is expected to become operational in about two months, Haskell-Thomas says. Until that time, the staff will use the PA600 bar-code scanner to capture the medication, staff and patient data.

Ekahau T301A tags are utilized to track the whereabouts of keys used to unlock the cabinets for storing controlled drugs.

A temperature-tracking component of the system comprises 70 Ekahau T301T tags attached inside refrigeration units deployed within various sections of the hospital, including the morgue and the kitchen. That temperature data is sent to the Symphony system, which can then issue alerts in the event that the temperature falls outside of a predetermined acceptable threshold.

When maintenance becomes necessary for a piece of equipment, a staff member presses a button on the Ekahau tag attached to that asset, which places a request to the clinical engineering team that manages maintenance and repair. A member of that team then arrives onsite and uses a PDA to indicate which process is being conducted on that object.

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