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Bangalore Heart Center Uses Passive RFID Cards to Track Outpatients

The EPC-based system, from Aventyn, has helped the facility increase patient throughput, reduce the use of paper forms and better track equipment.
By Beth Bacheldor
May 29, 2007The Bhagwan Mahaveer Jain (BMJ) Heart Center in Bangalore, India, is using passive UHF RFID tags to help maintain patient records, monitor patient flow and care, and track assets throughout the hospital's outpatient department.

Since the fall of 2006, the cardiac hospital—part of the Vivus Group—has employed the Clinical Information Processing Platform (CLIP), from Aventyn, a wireless technology company based in San Diego, Calif. The facility now tracks an average of 100 new patients a day, as well as returning patients, as they check into its outpatient department.

"We were aware of some hospitals in the United States using [RFID] for asset tracking," says Dr. Satish Chandra, BMJ's director of noninvasive cardiology, "and were interested in how this could really benefit patient care."

The Web-based CLIP system includes software and EPC Gen 2 interrogators and tags. In addition, Aventyn helps its customers plan for and implement the software and hardware. In May, the company announced an updated version of its CLIP solution, able to support Microsoft's BizTalk RFID platform for managing auto-ID devices.

Patients checking into BMJ's outpatient department receive RFID-tagged patient cards. The unique ID number on each tag is associated with that patient's electronic record in the CLIP Personal Health Manager. "Initially, the goal was to issue patient health cards at the outpatient department's registration front desk and track the patients as they went through cardiologist consultation and diagnosis," Chandra says, "so that the electronic health records were received automatically based on patient identification. This eliminated the tedious manual effort of paper registration, and [the] use of paper forms for clinical records."

Aventyn uses RFID interrogators from ThingMagic and Alien Technology. These readers are positioned in the facility's waiting room, consultation rooms and labs, and they document whenever a patient enters and leaves those areas. When a patient visits a consultation room, for example, the interrogator reads that person's card and communicates its data, via CLIP middleware, to the CLIP Personal Health Manager software. This enables a doctor or nurse to find and access the patient's records on a PC.

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