Hospital to put radio tags on patients, staff

MultiCare Health System's Good Samaritan Hospital will attach radio frequency identification (RFID) tags to its staff and patients starting next month, the Puyallup, Wash.-based healthcare facility just announced.

And later this fall, the staff tags will be read, and their information displayed on a "smart board" monitor in the patient's room, hospital officials say. Patients will know exactly who is in their rooms and what procedures they are supposed to be performing. Ultimately, the smart boards will also be enabled with two-way communications software, so patients can communicate with clinicians about their upcoming treatments, order meals and the like.

The project started in February as a way to track equipment and inventory in the hospital's new $400 million, 357,000-square-foot medical tower. Hospital executives tell the RFID Journal that they estimate nurses spend 30 percent of their time looking for missing equipment or supplies.

The system runs on Amelior EDTracker software from Patient Care Technology Systems.

For more:
- read the RFID Journal article
- check out the article