Home Internet of Things Aerospace Apparel Energy Defense Health Care Logistics Manufacturing Retail

Access This Premium Content

Options To Access This Article:

What Subscribers Are Saying

  • "Probably the best investment I've ever made."
    Steve Meizlish, President & CEO, MeizCorp Services, Inc.
  • "I have found that RFID Journal provides an objective viewpoint of RFID. It you are looking for a resource that provides insights as to the application and implications of deploying RFID, RFID Journal will meet your needs, It gives you a broad perspective of RFID, beyond the retail supply chain."
    Mike O'Shea, Director of Corporate AutoID/RFID Strategies & Technologies, Kimberly-Clark Corp.
  • "No other source provides the consistent value-added insight that Mark Robert and his staff do. In a world dominated by press release after press release, RFID Journal is developing as the one place to go to make the most sense out of the present and future of RFID in commerce."
    Bob Hurley, Project Leader for RFID, Bayer HealthCare's Consumer Care Division
  • "RFID Journal is the one go-to source for information on the latest in RFID technology."
    Bruce Keim, Director, Hewlett-Packard
  • "RFID Journal is the only source I need to keep up to the minute with the happenings in the RFID world."
    Blair Hawley, VP of Supply Chain, Remington Products Company

RFID Synergy at a Netherlands Hospital

The University of Amsterdam's Academic Medical Centre worked with a group of partners to test three RFID applications simultaneously.
By Rhea Wessel
Aug 27, 2007—In an effort to reduce costs and improve patient safety and services, numerous hospitals and medical centers have been piloting and deploying radio frequency identification technologies to track high-value assets, patients, medical records, blood products and beds. While many health-care facilities are realizing a return on their investment, some experts believe the biggest benefits will come when an RFID infrastructure can be used to support several applications simultaneously, and when data can be combined to improve inefficiencies and automate processes.

To test for synergies among individual pilots, the Academic Medical Centre (AMC) at the University of Amsterdam—in cooperation with Capgemini of the Netherlands and several hardware and software vendors—combined three RFID projects into one ambitious mega-trial: tracking and tracing medical equipment in the operating room, monitoring the movements of patients and staff in and around the OR, and tracking and tracing blood products. The project received financial support from the Dutch Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport.

Hospitals and medical centers are using RFID technology to track blood products and other high-value assets.

The three-pilot project, managed by Patrick Jansen, a consultant in the health-care practice at Capgemini's Utrecht office, was defined and developed in five stages over a five month-period, beginning in October 2005. The trial ran from July 2006 to February 2007, and was rolled out in three phases: first the patient- and staff-tracking pilot, followed a month later by the medical equipment-tracking trial, andthe blood-tracking portion six weeks after that. By December 2006, all three pilots were running simultaneously.

The hospital found that it was able to save upfront costs by employing the same interrogator infrastructure for the blood- and patient-tracking pilots. In addition, it combined the patient- and blood-tracking trials to confirm that the correct patients were receiving the proper blood products. And it also combined the patient- and equipment-tracking pilots to identify which patients were treated with which medical devices.

The project scored several "firsts," organizers explain. It was the first such project in the health-care sector to have such a wide scope and document the synergy effects of running multiple RFID applications at the same time. It also documented radio frequency interference with medical devices, such as breathing machines, pacemakers, anaesthesia equipment, and heart-rate and blood-pressure monitors. Capgemini used data collected from all three pilots to develop a business case.

"We strongly believe that, especially in health care, the investment in RFID infrastructure will only pay out when you are able to combine different RFID applications on one and the same infrastructure," says Jansen. "In other words, there is probably not one RFID 'killer application' with such a strong business case that it justifies the investment in the infrastructure."

The hospital says the three pilots improved patient safety, but the focus was on using the RFID data to refine its processes to reduce costs. More than €1.25 million ($900,000) was invested, half contributed by the Dutch government. The remainder, along with the undisclosed amount of over-budget expenses, was paid for by the partners, including Capgemini, information systems specialist Geodan Mobile Solutions, chipmaker Intel and software maker Oracle.
To continue reading this article, please log in or choose a purchase option.

Option 1: Become a Premium Member.

One-year subscription, unlimited access to Premium Content: $189

Gain access to all of our premium content and receive 10% off RFID Reports and RFID Events!

Option 2: Purchase access to this specific article.

This article contains 1,903 words and 4 pages. Purchase Price: $19.99

Upgrade now, and you'll get immediate access to:

  • Case Studies

    Our in-dept case-study articles show you, step by step, how early adopters assessed the business case for an application, piloted it and rolled out the technology.

    Free Sample: How Cognizant Cut Costs by Deploying RFID to Track IT Assets

  • Best Practices

    The best way to avoid pitfalls is to know what best practices early adopters have already established. Our best practices have helped hundreds of companies do just that.

  • How-To Articles

    Don’t waste time trying to figure out how to RFID-enable a forklift, or deciding whether to use fixed or mobile readers. Our how-to articles provide practical advice and reliable answers to many implementation questions.

  • Features

    These informative articles focus on adoption issues, standards and other important trends in the RFID industry.

    Free Sample: Europe Is Rolling Out RFID

  • Magazine Articles

    All RFID Journal Premium Subscribers receive our bimonthly RFID Journal print magazine at no extra cost, and also have access to the complete online archive of magazine articles from past years.

Become a member today!

RFID Journal LIVE! RFID in Health Care LIVE! LatAm LIVE! Brasil LIVE! Europe RFID Connect Virtual Events RFID Journal Awards Webinars Presentations