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Report: RFID Healthcare Spending Boom in 2007

The National Alliance for Health Information Technology and giant information technology consulting firm BearingPoint have released the results of a survey they conducted of more than 300 healthcare professionals. The findings indicate a slow year in 2006, followed by a dramatic uptick in spending in 2007 and beyond. This article has more.
Dec 02, 2005This article was originally published by RFID Update.

December 2, 2005—The National Alliance for Health Information Technology and information technology consulting giant BearingPoint have released the results of a survey they conducted of more than 300 healthcare professionals, most of whom work for commercial or government healthcare providers. The survey addressed the application of RFID technology in the healthcare space (not to be confused with pharmaceutical tracking), and its results indicate nascent, but eventually widespread, adoption of RFID.

Spending. Chief among the findings was that 2007 will be a pivotal year. While more than half of respondents foresee spending nothing at all on RFID next year, a whopping 74% anticipate investing in the technology in 2007. Fully 39% expect the investment to be $250,000 or more. Another key finding is the difference in adoption between bigger and smaller healthcare organizations. Currently, the largest healthcare organizations constitute the lion's share of RFID deployment activity: 30% of organizations with annual IT budgets above $100 million have done some sort of deployment, compared to only 13% of organizations with smaller budgets. Furthermore, while the smaller organizations predict 2007-2008 RFID spending of $250K and up, the big organizations anticipate investments many times that, at between one and five million.

Benefits. When asked to name the key driver of RFID adoption in healthcare, 70% responded improved patient safety. Improved patient flow and general productivity came in second, with about half of respondents deeming such benefits as "very important". Strikingly, there was a strong consensus among upper management that RFID is the future: 80% of C-level respondents consider the technology strategically "important" or "very important".

Hurdles. The barriers to adoption in healthcare are similar to those historically seen in the supply chain; namely, standards and cost. Almost half the respondents consider RFID reader and tag costs a major hurdle to adoption. Compounding the issue, 57% cited the insufficiency of their own available funding as another problem. Sixty percent responded that they have decided to delay deployment activity as they wait for standards to evolve at the government or industry level.

For those interested in learning more, there will be a webinar presentation of the findings this coming Tuesday the 6th at 11am EST. Participants will receive a full copy of the survey results. Register here.

The announcement of the survey is here
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