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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
In addition, Ekahau T301A tags are attached to keys used to unlock cabinets containing controlled drugs. If the keys leave the authorized zone within the hospital, programmed in the Symphony software—such as accidentally being carried out by an employee leaving for the day—an alert is displayed for the staff, managers and security team before the keys actually exit the facility.

The management is also concerned that medications and other health-care products make it safely from the warehouse to the hospital. To confirm that each pallet of goods reaches the hospital on time, or to send an alert if that does not occur, the facility has applied an Omni-ID Ultra tag to every pallet. As the pallets leave the warehouse, an Impinj xPortal reads each tag, and that data is received by the Symphony software. There is a predetermined acceptable amount of time permitted for that pallet to then pass through a second reader portal located at the hospital's dock doors. If that does not take place, an alert can be sent to management.

KHUH's Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa
"We are very pleased with this investment," Al Khalifa says regarding the Symphony solution, adding that he expects this technology eventually to be adopted by all health-care facilities. When it comes to a return on investment (ROI), he says, "Since it's a new hospital, we don't know the impact of the system; we can't measure that impact." Haskell-Thomas reports that he is "confident that with the ever-deeper integration of the technology into the hospital's clinical and management processes, ROI is guaranteed, albeit with no past benchmark. Staff efficiency alone will provide this."

In addition to being deployed at KHUH, Haskell-Thomas reports, the Symphony platform is also in operation at two other hospitals, where it provides a variety of functions, including infant security, as well as the management of outpatient services and assets via RFID wristbands and asset tags.

Cisco, which provided the Wi-Fi network used for the Ekahau RTLS solution, will host its EMEAR Healthcare Executive Community Event at KHUH on Dec. 4-5, 2012, to showcase the hospitals' wireless infrastructure and RTLS technology.

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