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RFID and Barcodes

By Priscila Macwan
PGD HCM 2011 13 Welingkar Institute of Management, Research & Development

RFID & Barcodes

Need for Tracking in Hospitals
There are many valuable assets (Equipments) and people

(Doctors, Nurses, Patients) in hospitals that needs to be tracked to overcome the challenges of improving patient safety and reducing operational costs Some of the problems in hospitals which leads to operational failures are Medical Mistakes, Increased cost, Theft loss, Drug Counterfeiting, Inefficient workflow. Tracking devices such as RFID devices and Barcodes can overcome all the above problems by improving the patients care, optimizing the workflows, reducing the operating costs, avoiding severe mistakes (such as patients misidentification) and reducing costly thefts.

RFID Inventory Management

Radio frequency identification (RFID) is predicted

to be one the major growth areas for healthcare and has many applications such as Managing assets ,Tracking patients etc. It can be used in various areas o f the hospitals such as blood bags, patients, linen and other hospital devices. And has various benefits One of the important benefit of RFID device in Hospital is its Inventory Management. As we all Know Hospital inventories are vital and their careful management ensures smooth running of the operations in hospitals

RFID Inventory Management

One of the Innovative Way of Managing Inventories in

Hospitals especially inventory such as linen is by using RFID enabled closets RFID Closets The Closets in which the inventory is kept will be equipped with a built in RFID reader Linked to the Lock of the closet. The RFID Tags will be attached to the inventory which needs to be tracked such as linen, drugs, consumables, supplies etc. The Reader and the Tags will also be linked with the system. Each Employee will have its Employee identity card along with a Employee unique Number

RFID Inventory Management

Contd To open closets containing the inventory the responsible employee will have to disengages the lock by using their unique employee card which will be verified. After verifying the employee's identity, based on the ID encoded on the card . the Closets containing the Inventory will be unlocked. When the employee removes the items needed and closes the closet door, the lock will be disengaged and this will trigger the RFID reader. The reader will take a reading of the closet's contents and will send an update to the system about the level of the inventories When items will fall below a set level, the system will automatically send an alert to replenish the shelves.

RFID Inventory Management

Some of the Advantages are

Better Inventory Management without any Human

intervention and error Real Time Data on Inventory.

Barcode Etching Surgical Instruments

Though RFID has many applications and

advantages in the hospitals it also has some disadvantages One of the disadvantages is that the RFID tags cannot be attached to Metals because it does not give appropriate reading. Because of the above reason RFID tags cannot be used for tracking of the surgical instruments because some of the surgical instruments contains metal in it. As we Know Surgical Instruments has become increasingly complex and expensive and in such a scenario there is a need for tracking them to prevent lost

Barcode Etching Surgical Instruments

Contd. One of the way in which lost can be prevented is by using a technique called barcode etching. Barcode Etching is a technique in which a barcode is engraved in each surgical instruments for tracking them Working Each surgical instruments will have a barcode engraved into it. Each surgical trays will also have a barcode attached to it When in cssd trays for surgery will be prepared at that time all the trays as well as the instruments inside the

Barcode Etching Surgical Instruments


The information about the trays and which tray

has what instruments will be send and stored in the system After scanning the trays will go into OT and after using the instruments they will be kept back into the tray. The trays will come to cssd which will again be scanned and a check in the system will be done to know which tray had which instruments and even the number of instruments The system will notify the user of any missing

Barcode Etching Surgical Instruments

Some of the Benefits of Barcode Etching are: Immediately notifies the user in case of surgical instruments lost or misplaced Reduces manpower work of counting, segregating etc of the surgical instruments Improved surgical tray and surgical instrument tracking via real-time location tracking capabilities Locates surgical instruments Easily Reduced or eliminated surgery delays in the operating room by packing the correct instruments into the correct trays


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