It started with RFID chips on infants to prevent kidnappings. Now electronic identification is progressing in many hospitals to include equipment, staff, and even patients.
Some people fear that this may result in increased privacy concerns for all involved. However, data available so far shows that some hospitals have been able to reduce wait times and even significantly reduce the number of errors involving specimen bottles.
In some hospitals, the only remaining concern is that the RFID chips and their wireless signals may interfere with medical equipment; in other hospitals that are just installing or considering installing such a system, staff are not sure that they want management tracking them every minute of the day.
Hopefully in more cases where the systems are installed, patient wait times can be cut and errors involving the wrong patient can be reduced to being nearly non-existent. And hopefully management can use the system wisely.
To learn more about RFID adoption:
- read this Wall Street Journal piece