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King's Daughters Expands Its RFID Tracking System

The medical center will more than double the number of RFID-enabled cabinets deployed, recording which cardiac medical items are removed, and by whom.
By Beth Bacheldor
Jun 26, 2006It's been just about a year since King's Daughters Medical Center (KDMC) in Ashland, Ky., began using six RFID-enabled storage cabinets to keep tabs on its cardiac medical items (see RFID Heals Hospital's Inventory Problems). The technology has proven to be such a healthy addition to the center's inventory tracking that it's now adding 14 more.

"Things have gone so well, it'd be foolish not to expand on it," says Brian Taylor, a cardiac systems analyst at KDMC. The hospital is installing the storage system, iRISupply—developed by Pittsburgh's Mobile Aspects—in its newly opened, five-floor, 200,000-square-foot Heart and Vascular Center.

Brian Taylor
The RFID-enabled cabinets measure approximately 7 feet wide by 6 feet tall, with glass doors through which staffers can view the coronary artery stents and other items stored inside. These cabinets will be situated near the cardiac catheterization labs on the second floor, and within the vascular catheterization labs on the ground floor.

The iRISupply system includes RFID identity cards worn by the center's nurses, passive RFID tags attached to items and 13.56 MHz RFID interrogators built into the cabinets. The cards and item tags comply with the ISO 15693 standard. The interrogators read the cards to track the identity of anyone who removes items; they also scan items' passive RFID tags, recording any that are removed from or returned to the cabinets.

Taylor says the initial deployment of six iRISupply cabinets was very well received by the nurses, simply because the system was so user-friendly. That implementation, however, had one glitch—an extra step requiring nurses to key in patients' names manually so the system could record which devices were being removed for which patients.

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