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Bassin de Thau Hospital to Expand RFID System for Tracking Patient Records

The French facility, which had been using handheld interrogators to record when files were checked out, will install fixed readers in the corridors connecting the facility's wings.
By Claire Swedberg

When files are requested, a worker walks through the hospital's central archive room, selects the appropriate shelved folders and places them onto a cart. The files are then checked out by passing a handheld Motorola reader over the cart and reading each folder's ID, thereby creating an electronic record of which items are being removed. The hospital does not create or store records of who checks out files, due to French regulations.

As a new patient record is created, or as one of the 120,000 existing patient records is accessed, all paper documents in the record are inserted into a paper folder that includes an EOS-500 RFID label. More than 40,000 of the 120,000 paper patient records stored within the archive room are now tagged with Tageos RFID labels. Moving forward, the hospital expects to tag 15,000 additional folders annually.

A worker uses a handheld reader to capture the tag ID numbers of all files loaded onto a cart.

By the end of 2014, Bassin de Thau Hospital intends to complete the installation of Motorola FX7400 fixed RFID reader portals at the entrances to three wings, on each of the wing's four floors. As a file passes through a portal, the reader will automatically capture the tag's ID number, and then transmit that information to the software, which will update that file's location data. In that way, files can be located within a wing before staff members need to begin searching for them.

Bassin de Thau Hospital's Nhut Truong-Minh

The system also provides the hospital with analytics regarding files' movements, Truong-Minh says. This, he explains, enables him to generate a report indicating, for example, how long files remain checked out, how often each department uses those files, or for how long and in what quantity.

In the future, the hospital may also apply RFID tags to its assets, including linens, in order to track their movements throughout the facility. However, no date for that deployment has yet been determined.

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