RFID in Health Care West Report

By Admin

Approximately 75 attendees gathered last month in Los Angeles to learn how the latest RFID systems are helping health-care providers improve patient care while lowering costs. View the presentations from the event.

Hospitals across North America are achieving improved patient outcomes and/or a financial return on investment (ROI) by employing radio frequency identification to monitor patients and assets, collect information automatically and reduce medical errors. At RFID in Health Care West, RFID Journal's fourth health-care event, approximately 75 professionals attended presentations from leading health-care providers and early adopters who shared real-world case studies revealing the business benefits of RFID, to help them move from one-off applications to an infrastructure approach to the technology.

The presenters explored how hospitals and health-care organizations are utilizing RFID to improve patient monitoring and safety, increase asset utilization with real-time tracking, boost revenue with automated billing, reduce errors by tracking medical devices, enhance supply chain efficiencies and more. The conference was held on June 15, 2010, at the Renaissance Hollywood Hotel & Spa, in Los Angeles, Calif.

Recordings of the event's speaker presentations are now available in RFID Journal's online video library. In addition, the presenters have provided PDFs of their presentations for downloading. Click on the blue-highlighted links below to view the videos and PDFs.

Note: A premium membership to RFID Journal is required to view some of the videos. Due to the large size of some files, it may take a minute or two to download each PDF. Speakers own the copyright to these presentations, and no material should be used without their permission. Not all presenters have opted to have us post their materials; as more PDFs and videos become available, we will add them as well.

Mark Roberti, RFID Journal's founder and editor, opened the conference with a discussion of RFID basics for health-care professionals. Roberti helped seminar attendees understand the various types of RFID technologies and the applications for each, including active, battery-assisted and passive technologies—both high-frequency (HF) and ultrahigh-frequency (UHF). He outlined how RFID can be deployed to track various assets, and also offered a brief overview of EPCglobal's standards, and their relevance to the health-care industry.

Presentation: View the video.Download the PDF.

Halsey Bagg, St. Elizabeth Medical Center's director of cardiology services, explored the use of RFID to optimize medical device inventories. St. Elizabeth Medical Center, located in Utica, N.Y., is one of the busiest cardiac catheterization and electrophsiology labs in the mid-New York State region. The hospital performs more than 5,000 procedures annually, and typically has an on-hand cardiac device inventory valued at more than $1 million. The lab deployed an RFID-enabled inventory-management solution to track and manage implantable devices, which can carry price tags ranging from $1,000 to $30,000. Prior to implementing the RFID solution, the hospital relied on clinical staff members to manually track inventory. In this session, Bagg outlined how the facility was able to optimize inventory levels and better manage consignment stock, expired products and recall notifications with RFID.

Presentation: View the video.Download the PDF.

See also: Using RFID to Optimize Medical Device Inventories at St Elizabeth Medical Center

Sam Itani, VP of San Joaquin Community Hospital, discussed how his facility, part of the Adventist Health System, 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 explained how to employ an RTLS as a solution to budget pressures, not as an additional cost; how to utilize the data to make financially sound business decisions; and how San Joaquin Community Hospital worked with its vendor during the installation process to make sure the solution provided a financially significant ROI.

Presentation: Download the PDF.

See also: San Joaquin Hospital Boosts Asset Utilization and Successful Deployment of RTLS in Health Care: What to Demand in a Cooperative Vendor Partnership

Dr. Verna Gibbs, a professor of clinical surgery at the University of California, San Francisco, offered a discussion of real-world uses of radio frequency identification in the health-care sector. RFID is an enabling technology that can be applied across many health-care applications, and in this session, Gibbs told attendees how the use of the technology in a hospital operating room can save health-care providers money, as well as boost operating efficiencies, reduce liabilities and improve patient safety.

Maria Agostinho, the director of biomedical engineering at Saint Michael's Medical Center (a member of Catholic Health East), revealed how RFID can help hospitals maintain patient safety. Medical centers around the world are employing RFID-based systems to help protect and care for patients. Agostinho detailed how to build a smarter health-care system for monitoring and tracking patient safety in real time, using existing RFID, ultrasound and software solutions. Attendees learned how hospitals are utilizing RFID technologies to realize benefits in shipping and receiving efficiency, as well as patient identification, error reduction at the point of care, medication management and employee tracking.

Presentation: View the video.Download the PDF.

Jim Barnes, the OR support staff director at the University of California's San Francisco Medical Center (UCSF), explored how the facility utilizes a real-time locating system for the purpose of asset management. Efficiently tracking the location, status and movement of mobile medical equipment was an important value driver for the medical center, and its RTLS project was initially driven by regulatory pressures to keep its hallways clear of obstructions. With equipment storage located offsite, nearly two miles away, the staff was reluctant to move items to that location without an equipment-tracking solution already in place. Barnes discussed how UCSF originally installed an RTLS in its operating room in 2007, starting with 1,000 OR-owned assets, and how it has since expanded the deployment to multiple campuses.

Presentation: View the video.Download the PDF.

Scott Sullivan, the business manager of the University of California's San Diego Medical Center, explained how to use RTLS technology to overcome business-management challenges in today's operating rooms. Properly managing perioperative services from both a patient-flow and budget perspective affects a hospital's entire organization. Operating room flow drives the vast majority of a medical facility's in-patients, and ORs are the major revenue and cost centers of most hospitals. Ultimately, improving perioperative services improves a medical center's overall flow and bottom line. 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. In this presentation, attendees learned how RTLS technology impacts the UCSD Medical Center's process-improvement goals to maximize operational efficiency, as well as minimize required resources and related costs.

Presentation: View the video.Download the PDF.

See also: UCSD Medical Center Expands Its RFID Deployment and Beyond Asset Tracking: How UCSD Medical Center Achieved an ROI With an Active RFID Real-Time Location System

Finally, Steve Montgomery, Genesis Health System's supervisor of logistics, detailed how to track assets and monitor usage with RFID. Genesis Health System deployed an RFID solution enabling it to locate rented pumps and return them on time, as well as know where its own pumps are located. The system provides detailed reports based on equipment movement and usage. According to Montgomery, the time the facility spent locating missing equipment has been reduced from 22 minutes to a maximum of 2 minutes searching via computer.

Presentation: View the video.Download the PDF.

See also: Genesis Health System Uses RFID to Drill Deeper and RFID in Health Care Gets Some Attention

RFID Journal's next health-care event will be RFID in Health Care East, scheduled to take place on Oct. 12, 2010, at the Radisson Plaza-Wawick Hotel, in Philadelphia, Pa. Visit RFID Journal's events page for information regarding other upcoming events, virtual events and webinars.