Paul Frisch

Title: “The Impact of RFID / RTLS in Healthcare, Enhancing Patient Care and Optimizing Workflow and Business Processes”

Paul Frisch, PhD, FHIMSS
Associate Attending Department of Medical Physics
Chief of Biomedical Engineering
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
New York, NY, USA


Over the last decade the changing healthcare environment has driven hospitals to critically evaluate and optimize their operations to enhance patient treatment and care, while focusing on financial constraints.   The hospitals have moved to support an increasing outpatient care environment, driving an increasing in-patient acuity levels.

Increasingly important to optimizing hospital operations is the integration of real time locations systems (RTLS), providing unique identification, location, tracking, and association of institutions critical assets, including patients, safety, devices and inventory.  If we consider the processes associated with patient care and management there is a consistent dependence on establishing a unique identification and association of patients, staff, devices, supplies, samples and pharmaceuticals. The deployment of RTLS based solutions provides a basis for establishing a standardized methodology for this iden

tification and association.

RTLS has enabled multiple applications or use cases to enhance safety, optimize workflow, supply management and validate processes providing a new level of business intelligence in the hospitals operations as well as providing new and enhanced levels of patient safety.   Outlined below is a subset of RTLS applications which directly enhance patient care, safety and satisfaction as well enabling direct impact to optimize hospital operations.

Passive RFID Applications:

  • Supply Management and Tracking
  • Surgical Tray Tracking
  • Surgical Sponge & Instrument Tracking & Verification
  • Pharmaceutical – Medication Administration
  • Laboratory Sample Collection & Archiving
  • Small Devices / Inventory
  • Patient Centric Identification & Association
  • Verification of Process
  • Cleaning or Decontamination Processes

Active RFID Applications:

  • Inventory Management
    • Locating & Tracking Critical Devices
    • PM Compliance
    • Asset Utilization
    • Shrinkage – Security
  • Workflow and Management
    • Staff Tracking
    • Identification & Association
    • Hand Hygiene Compliance
    • Metrics on Dynamic Time Sequence of Events
    • Staff Duress
  • Dashboards
  • Optimization of Processes
  • Temperature & Humidity Measurement

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