RFID: The cure for patients electronic identification

How do we improve the everyday work of doctors and raise the comfort of patients? Use RFID wristbands, which always guarantee correct identification of convalescents, as well as eliminate mistakes with drugs administration.

The doctor’s nightmare? Giving the wrong dosage of drugs to the wrong patient. The patient’s dream? To be effectively treated and be provided with great care. RFID technology is the answer for both of these challenges. Additionally, it makes the work of hospital personnel more effective. With RFID, time needed for doctor’s rounds shortens dramatically and doctors themselves will be able to talk longer to sick people. And all the secret of this major change is hidden in an unobtrusive wristband. A band equipped with an RFID tag.

The Devil’s in the Detail

“This small piece plays large role in patient treatment. It makes patient identification possible, as well as it recognizes current medical treatment or therapy and it improves care provided by the hospital. Wristbands contain data regarding drugs and their dosage. Doctors or nurses use this data during everyday visits at convalescents’ beds to administrate prescriptions and elaborately analyze the effects of treatment” – explains PhD. Eng. Karolina Kozlowska, CEO of Smart Technology Group.

It should be noted that various types of bands matter not only for hospital staff, but also for the patient’s comfort. Obviously, for the latter, it is crucial that the visit goes as smoothly as possible without any inconveniences.

RFID wristbands also influence the protection of personal data and helps in respecting the privacy of people coming to hospital ward. The type of band decides if name, surname, or other sensitive information will be visible only for doctors or by incidental people, passing by bed.

Therefore, the choice of the wristband has a great impact on such relevant issues as patient’s health, therapy process and comfort of sick people.

Time for Change

Currently, during the time the patient is in the hospital, they are still given bands with handwritten information (personal data, hospital ward, treatment, drugs). However, bearing in mind various issues, such a solution is highly impractical. It takes precious time to write down all of the information accurately and legibly. Additionally, the faster someone tries to fill the band with data, the longer it takes to decipher such handwriting later. These bands are also disposable – it is clear that nobody would cross out outdated information and add new information.

Wristbands with QR codes and barcodes are disposable, too. Such bands are also highly popular for patients’ identification. QR/barcode technology cannot be used for overwriting the patients’ data – if there is a need for an data update, a new code must be generated. Bands with these codes require visual contact with reader. To access the data stored in QR/barcode, the reader must be fairly close. Why is this an important factor? Because of the patient’s comfort, who is obliged to cooperate with the doctor during his everyday rounds. Trying to adjust the band so that the reader can see the codes can sometimes cause an uneasy setting with the patient. One advantage of QR/barcode wristbands is their capacity: they can store much more data than extremely limited handwritten bands. Also, access to patient’s data is definitely easier with QR/barcode wristbands: data is available immediately after putting the reader near the wristband.

RFID Means New Quality

The most attractive solution – from a doctor’s, nurse’s, and patient’s point of view – is the RFID wristband. Why is that? “Data written on the RFID chip can be instantly modified. Overwriting, deleting, adding new details is surprisingly easy. A broad range of modifications are possible because of the RFID tags capacity. As a result, patient’s data can be meticulous as ever” – underlines PhD. Eng. Karolina Kozlowska. Just like QR/barcodes, RFID tags guarantee privacy protection.The patients’ personal data is available only for the medical personnel using RFID reader.

The biggest advantage of an RFID solution is a unique feature that allows the data to be read from a significant distance (~ 8 meters). Visual contact between the reader and the RFID wristband is unnecessary. The patient may keep his/her wrist with the wristband under a blanket or bed comforter and the RFID reader will always read all of the data. There is no need for any interaction between the patient and the doctor. “It should be stated that RFID gives 100% read accuracy. The risk of a medical mistake is literally equal to zero. Day after day, on every doctor’s round, the proper dosage of drugs is administered to the right patient” – summarizes CEO of Smart Technology Group, Karolina Kozlowska.

Such a comparison clearly proves that only RFID bands guarantee effective therapy, proper patient care and comfort for the hospital personnel. When confronted with other methods, RFID technology is the optimal solution for the modern and friendly hospital.

 

(By: Przemyslaw Zielinski)

 

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