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Australia's Bendigo Health Improves Efficiency Through RFID

The regional health-care provider is using AeroScout Wi-Fi tags to track patients and monitor the temperatures of supplies, and will soon implement an RFID-enabled staff-safety solution.
By Dave Friedlos
"The system follows a patient's journey through the theater, from the admissions area to the waiting area to the theater complex and the anesthetic bay, and collects key data," Coppin says. "This allows business decisions to be dovetailed into the complex flow of staff and resources to the perioperative suite. We expect to be able to process patients through surgery more efficiently and use our resources better, and we are already seeing improvements."

The AeroScout Patient Flow system operates on Bendigo Health's existing Cisco Unified Wireless Network, which means there is no need to purchase, install and maintain a separate RFID reader network. The wireless network access points throughout the hospital effectively act as RFID interrogators.

According to Lee Lister, AeroScout's Australia and New Zealand director, this results in a lower total cost of ownership for Bendigo Health.

The system utilizes AeroScout T2 active tags, which are 802.11-compliant and operate at 2.4 GHz. Information is transmitted from the tags across the Wi-Fi network to AeroScout's MobileView software, which can be accessed by all employees on any computer monitor.

The theater rollout was a proof of concept for Bendigo Health; after working successfully straight out of the box, it paved the way for expansion of the system. The health-care provider then became aware of the temperature-monitoring solution, Coppin says, and immediately began investigating its potential. Refrigerators and freezers are used to store critical medical supplies, such as blood and pharmaceuticals. The temperatures of these supplies must be continuously monitored and recorded at regular intervals, in order to ensure that they remain within acceptable ranges. At present, this function is performed manually by the staff, and is a time-consuming task.

USER COMMENTS

Vanwyck Richardson 2010-12-22 10:42:27 PM
Owner, Time & Space I am opening a consulting and integration concern in Lake Havasu City, AZ focusing on RFID/RTLS applications for this resort area. The medical solution is just one aspect of the burgeoning ubiquity for RFID and final acceptance without paranoia regarding Big Brother applications. We already have enough already, don't worry, be happy. Anyway, neat stuff, Peace, VanWyck52

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