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RFID in Health Care—Dallas Report

Last month, 75 health-care professionals attended RFID Journal's fourth RFID in Health Care conference. View the presentations from the event.
Feb 22, 2010—Radio frequency identification is gaining a foothold in the health-care sector, with a growing number of hospitals, medical centers and health-care companies using the technology for asset tracking, patient monitoring and other applications. RFID in Health Care—Dallas 2010, RFID Journal's fourth conference and exhibition for health-care professionals, was held on Jan. 28 at the Fairmont Hotel, in Dallas, Texas.

RFID in Health Care—Dallas educated attendees regarding how hospitals across North America are achieving benefits from using RFID technologies, by reducing medical errors and collecting information automatically. Such benefits include improving patient monitoring and safety, increasing asset utilization with real-time tracking, boosting revenue with automated billing, reducing errors by tracking medical devices and enhancing supply chain efficiencies.

During this one-day event, hospitals, health-care providers and other end users revealed how they utilize RFID and Electronic Product Code (EPC) technologies, and industry leaders offered insights to help attendees move from one-off applications to an infrastructure approach to RFID. Seventy-five attendees gathered to learn how they can benefit and gain a return on investment (ROI) from using RFID.

Speaker presentations from the event are now available (see the final page for downloading instructions).

Conference Sessions
Mark Roberti, RFID Journal's founder and editor, opened the conference with a presentation regarding the basics of RFID technology for health-care professionals. This session was designed to help attendees understand the various types of RFID technologies, as well as applications for each, and covered active, battery-assisted and passive technologies, both high-frequency (HF) and ultrahigh-frequency (UHF). Roberti explained how each can be deployed to track assets, and also offered a brief overview of EPCglobal's standards, including their relevance to the health-care industry.

Sam Itani, VP of San Joaquin Community Hospital (part of the Adventist Health System) told attendees how his facility recently deployed an enterprise-wide real-time location system (RTLS) covering 350,000 square feet and involving more than 1,300 assets. The system included equipment asset tags and temperature-monitoring tags. Itani revealed how the hospital employs RTLS technology as a solution to budget pressures, rather than as an additional cost, and how it worked with its vendor during the installation process to make sure the solution provided a financially significant ROI.

Scott Sullivan, a business manager at the University of California's San Diego Medical Center explained how properly managing perioperative services from both a patient-flow and budget perspective can affect a hospital's entire organization, and how today's OR management team must oversee multi-million-dollar budgets, meet aggressive quality and safety targets, recruit and retain employees, and drive surgeon satisfaction. Sullivan outlined how RTLS technology impacts his facility's process-improvement goals to maximize operational efficiency, as well as minimize required resources and related costs (see RFID Tags Survive Hospital Sterilization, RFID Sees Gains in Health Care and UCSD Medical Center Expands Its RFID Deployment).
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