What type of RFID technology would you recommend we deploy at our facility?
It depends on what type of medical equipment you mean. If you are referring to larger pieces of equipment, such as oxygen pumps, wheelchairs and the like, then I would suggest an active-RFID based real-time location system (RTLS). With an RTLS solution, you can obtain real-time visibility into the locations of your assets. You can also tag patients and hospital personnel, and set off warnings if anyone approaches an exit with a piece of tagged equipment. Hospitals that have done this have achieved a significant reduction in lost and stolen items, in addition to huge improvements in asset-utilization rates.
If you are referring to smaller equipment, such as stethoscopes and clamps, then I’m afraid these cannot be tagged using active tags. But you can put passive RFID tags on the items and track them more efficiently. It might not be possible to read every tag as an item leaves the facility, but just the fact that items are tagged would be something of a deterrent.
—Mark Roberti, Founder and Editor, RFID Journal
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