RFID in Health Care Gets Some Attention

Genesis Health was recently featured on the local news. So where is the national media?
Published: February 10, 2010

Genesis Health System, located in Davenport, Iowa, is using active RFID tags from AeroScout to track infusion pumps, as well as wheelchairs and stretchers (see Genesis Health System Uses RFID to Drill Deeper). The system is saving the company time and money, which earned the attention of a local television station in Iowa. The hospital was recently featured in a News 8 segment (click here to view the video).

It’s great to see this, but it’s sad that the national media in the United States has not focused on the benefits of radio frequency identification. It’s more focused on who said what in Washington. Meanwhile, hospitals across the country are deploying systems that can lower costs, reduce capital expenditures and improve patient care. If the Obama administration wants to make an impact on health care, it should start with the hospitals run by the Veterans Administration (VA).

The VA runs 171 medical centers; more than 350 outpatient, community and outreach clinics; 126 nursing home-care units; and 35 domiciliaries. Improved asset tracking alone could save the agency millions of dollars, which would help propel the adoption of RFID technologies across the industry, enabling private- and state-run hospitals to save hundreds of millions of dollars, in aggregate.

The technology has been proven. It works. The benefits have been proven. So what are we waiting for?

Mark Roberti is the founder and editor of RFID Journal. If you would like to comment on this article, click on the link below. To read more of Mark’s opinions, visit the RFID Journal Blog or click here.