Jan 06, 2013Growing technological complexity within the patient-care environment, coupled with increased workloads and reduced staffing, has created difficulties and discontinuities in the management of patient information and the overall care environment. These issues have directly impacted and contributed to a rise in equipment-related errors, patient dissatisfaction and a potential for patient injury, and have resulted in an overall increase in concern for patient safety. Many hospitals have augmented their traditional operational and business models to expand their role in developing enhanced clinical applications, capitalizing on new enabling technologies providing added accuracy and efficiency to their operational processes. One of the most promising technologies is RFID, and its role in real-time location services. Integrating RTLS and RFID information with inventory applications and processes has the potential to enable better utilization of devices and reduce capital expenditures. Integrating RFID with workflow processes provides metrics to enhance the complex utilization of staff resources, which can be focused on optimizing the patient-care process, along with patient safety and satisfaction.
Paul Frisch, PhD., Assistant Attending and Clinical Member, Department of Medical Physics and Chief of Biomedical Physics & Engineering, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center