Did you know that approximately 1 in 5,000 patients who have had surgery have had surgical instruments left inside their body? Such medical malpractice can cause serious problems, but now, RFID technology is looking to change that statistic.
While RFID technology is already being used to track items in retail and warehousing, metal RFID tags are being used to track surgical instruments and other tools. More specifically, the tags will prevent surgical instruments being left behind in a patient’s body after an operation.
Until recently, medical staff would have to count small items to ensure nothing was left behind. But now, small, metal RFID tags can be inserted into surgical instruments and sponges during the manufacturing process and can be read from approximately 6.5 ft. away.
While the risk of electromagnetic interference between the metal RFID tags and other equipment is low, hospitals should double check that everything is okay.
Learn more about solutions for hospitals.
The American National Standards Institute, or ANSI, recently approved a new set of standards from the Health Industry Business Communications Council for using RFID tags to label and track medical products.
ANSI/HIBC 4.0, the new decided upon standard, provides guidelines for tagging healthcare products in a way that will prevent RFID interference with medical devices, which had previously been causing some major issues. In fact, in a June 2008 Journal of American Medical Association study, it was found that ultra-high frequency tagging interfered with the operation of electronic medical devices in almost 63% of the cases tested.
Since a smaller read range is less likely to interfere with medical devices, the council’s new standards recommend that healthcare products be tagged with 13.56mhz high-frequency coding.
Recently, I wrote about the Pharmacode, a barcode often used in the pharmaceutical industry, but there are still a number of issues regarding compliance, counterfeiting, and regulatory issues in the industry.
Part of the regulations being imposed on the pharmaceutical industry involve barcoding. Over the next few years, it will become mandatory that all drugs packaged for hospitals must be barcoded at the dose level, preventing the administration of the wrong drug or dose. Distribution of samples, counterfeiting, and clinical trials are also other issues that need to be addressed.
In order to handle constantly evolving regulations and standards, many pharmaceutical manufacturers are taking advantage of enterprise mobility solutions such as hand-held mobile computers. By implementing such solutions, manufacturers have been able to not only comply, but also reduce the total number of errors, track and trace all instances of the drugs, and better manage inventory and workforce.
With something as tangible as the pharmaceutical industry, it’s important to move from a paper-based system of tracking to an automated one, reducing the amount of errors, which ultimately protects patients, hospital stall, and pharmaceutical companies alike.
If you’re interested in learning more about enterprise mobility solutions for healthcare, you can do so here.
The RFID Journal is sponsoring a few events regarding how RFID can be used in industry specific environments.
RFID in Fashion
Hosted at The Fashion Institute of Technology in NY, NY from August 12-13, RFID in Fashion will examine ways to increase sales through the use of RFID technologoy. By accelerating manufacturing options, improving in-store inventory accuracy and on-shelf availability, and deterring theft, those in the fashion industry will see a great increase in profit. The event will also feature objective case studies, focusing on how companies use RFID to:
- Improve in-store inventory accuracy
- Decrease the amount of time to take inventory
- Reduce the amount of time to receive goods into inventory
- Cut markdown labor costs
- Tag individual items
- Improve delivery speed
If you’re interested in attending RFID in Fashion, you can learn more here.
RFID in Healthcare
In addition to the RFID in Fashion event, the RFID Journal will also be sponsoring RFID in Healthcare, which will be held on September 17 at the Westin-Waltham in Boston, MA. The goal of the event is to ultimately improve patient outcomes through the use of RFID technology. During the event, attendees will learn:
- How to use RFID to cut costs
- Learn how other health care providers have used RFID
- Discover the best practices for RFID technology
- Solve common hospital issues
If you’re interested in attending RFID in Healthcare, you can register here.
If you’re in the healthcare industry, then you may want to look into RFID technology for revolutionizing the way things work.
The RFID in Health Care Conference, hosted by the RFID Journal, will be held on January 22nd at the Rio All-Suite Hotel in fabulous Las Vegas.
During the event, you will be able to hear from health care providers who adopted RFID technology early, and learn how you can implement similar systems within your organization. The RFID in Health Care Conference is the only event where you have the ability to hear live case studies from companies who already use RFID technology.
Implementing RFID within your organization will increase accuracy, efficiency, and is more cost effective. Register today to attend the RFID in Healh Care Conference!