RFID in Hospitals and Factors Restricting Adoption

RFID in Hospitals and Factors Restricting Adoption

Bryan Houliston (Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand)
Copyright: © 2009 |Pages: 28
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-298-5.ch006
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Hospitals are traditionally slow to adopt new information systems (IS). However, health care funders and regulators are demanding greater use of IS as part of the solution to chronic problems with patient safety and access to medical records. One technology offering benefits in these areas is Radio Frequency Identification (RFID). Pilot systems have demonstrated the feasibility of a wide range of hospital applications, but few have been fully implemented. This chapter investigates the factors that have restricted the adoption of RFID technology in hospitals. It draws on related work on the adoption of IS generally, published case studies of RFID pilots, and interviews with clinicians, IS staff and RFID vendors operating in New Zealand (NZ) hospitals. The chapter concludes with an analysis of the key differences between RFID and other IS, and which RFID applications have the greatest chance of successful implementation in hospitals.
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In 1989 management guru Peter Drucker described hospitals as prototypical knowledge-based organisations (Drucker, 1989). Considering the variety and volume of information that hospitals, and other health care organisations, deal with, it is easy to see why they might be expected to be early adopters of IS. Kim and Michelman (1990) identify the components of a typical integrated Hospital Information System (HIS): General accounting and budgeting; Staff payroll; Patient demographic information and medical records; Nursing care plans; Treatment orders; Test results; Surgery and resource schedules; and Databases of clinical information relating to Radiology, Pharmacology, Pathology, and other specialist departments.

Yet research suggests that in comparison to other industries, the health care sector invests relatively little in IS. Twelve years on from Drucker’s statement, a British survey of annual IS spending per employee found that the health care sector spent approximately one-third that of the manufacturing sector, one-fifth that of the distribution sector, and one-ninth that of the financial sector (Wallace, 2004). This low level of investment has led various stakeholders to demand greater use of IS in the health care sector. Two key areas in which significant potential benefits have been identified are improving patient safety, and sharing electronic medical records amongst all the health care organisations that may treat a patient.

Patient safety is, of course, paramount in health care. ‘First, Do No Harm’ is the fundamental principle of the medical profession. Yet each year medical mistakes take a heavy toll in both human life and health care resources. For example, errors in administering drugs, known as Adverse Drug Events (ADEs), are believed to result in tens of thousands of deaths, many more serious injuries, and to cost the health care sector tens of billions of dollars (Classen, Pestotnik, Evans, Lloyd, & Burke, 1997; Davis et al., 2003; Johnson & Bootman, 1995; Wilson et al., 1995). The US Institute of Medicine (IOM) strongly advocate the use of IS to reduce the incidence of ADEs (Institute of Medicine, 2001). Regulatory agencies, such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Joint Commission on Accreditation on Healthcare Organisations (JCAHO), have mandated the use of barcode technology in US hospitals to improve identification of medications and patients (Merry & Webster, 2004). The NZ Ministry of Health has recently announced plans to spend NZ$115 million to implement systems such as Computerised Physician Order Entry (CPOE) and Barcoded Medication Administration (BCMA) (Johnston, 2007).

The leading cause of ADEs is the prescription of unsuitable drugs (Bates, Cullen, & Laird, 1995; Leape, Bates, & Cullen, 1995). Unsuitable prescriptions result primarily from clinicians lacking ready access to patients’ medical records, and thus being unaware of drug allergies, existing conditions, and current prescriptions. Storing medical records in electronic form, in a centralised database, enables timely access to such information for all clinicians who may treat a patient. In the UK, the government is planning to spend around £6 billion on an Electronic Patient Records (EPR) system for the National Health Service (NHS) as part of the ‘Connecting for Health’ initiative (Wallace, 2004). In NZ, the WAVE (Working to Add Value through E-information) Advisory Board to the Director-General of Health recommended a similar system (WAVE Advisory Board, 2001), which has been included in the country’s Health Information Strategy (Health Information Strategy Steering Committee, 2005). In Australia a non-profit company created by federal and state governments, the National e-Health Transition Authority (NEHTA), invests in IS that supports sharing of EPRs. The same approach has been taken in Canada, with the Health Infoway corporation. In the US, major insurers, such as Medicare, require hospitals to provide details of treatment in electronic form (Jonietz, 2004).

Complete Chapter List

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Editorial Advisory Board
Table of Contents
Olaf Diegel
Judith Symonds, John Ayoade, David Parry
Chapter 1
Chin Boo Soon
This chapter describes the history and development of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID). Key information on RFID such as the ratification of the... Sample PDF
Radio Frequency Identification History and Development
Chapter 2
John Garofalakis, Christos Mettouris
The continuous evolution of wireless technologies has made them ideal for use in many different applications, including user positioning. Until now... Sample PDF
Using Bluetooth for Indoor User Positioning and Informing
Chapter 3
John Ayoade, Judith Symonds
Standards organisations such as EPC Global work to provide global compatibility between RFID readers and tags (EPCGlobal, 2007). This is essential... Sample PDF
RFID for Identification of Stolen/Lost Items
Chapter 4
Filippo Gandino, Erwing Ricardo Sanchez, Bartolomeo Montrucchio, Maurizio Rebaudengo
This chapter deals with the use of RFID technology for improving management and security of agri-food products. In order to protect health and to... Sample PDF
RFID Technology for Agri-Food Tracability Management
Chapter 5
Lena Mamykina, Elizabeth Mynatt
In the last decade, novel sensing technologies enabled development of applications that help individuals with chronic diseases monitor their health... Sample PDF
Interpreting Health and Wellness Information
Chapter 6
Bryan Houliston
Hospitals are traditionally slow to adopt new information systems (IS). However, health care funders and regulators are demanding greater use of IS... Sample PDF
RFID in Hospitals and Factors Restricting Adoption
Chapter 7
David Parry, Judith Symonds
Radio-frequency Identification (RFID) offers a potentially flexible and low cost method of locating objects and tracking people within buildings.... Sample PDF
RFID and Assisted Living for the Elderly
Chapter 8
Ashir Ahmed, Ly-Fie Sugianto
This chapter introduces an activity-based framework for the adoption of radio frequency identification (RFID) in emergency management. The framework... Sample PDF
RFID in Emergency Management
Chapter 9
Bin Shen, Yu-Jin Zhang
This chapter is concerned with online object tracking, which aims to locate a given object in each of the consecutive frames. Many algorithms have... Sample PDF
Subsequence-Wise Approach for Online Tracking
Chapter 10
John Ayoade
The aim of Fixed-Mobile Convergence (FMC) is to provide both fixed-line and mobile telephony services to users through the same handset which could... Sample PDF
From Fixed to Mobile Convergence
Chapter 11
Sarita Pais, Judith Symonds
RFID tags can store more data and can update this data through local processing. This is in contrast to the EPC global standard of data-on-network.... Sample PDF
Handling RFID Data Using a Data-on-Tag Approach
Chapter 12
Maryam Purvis, Toktam Ebadi, Bastin Tony Roy Savarimuthu
The objective of this research is to describe a mechanism to provide an improved library management system using RFID and agent technologies. One of... Sample PDF
An Agent-Based Library Management System Using RFID Technology
Chapter 13
Tommaso Di Noia, Eugenio Di Sciascio, Francesco Maria Donini, Michele Ruta, Floriano Scioscia, Eufemia Tinelli
We propose a novel object discovery framework integrating the application layer of Bluetooth and RFID standards. The approach is motivated and... Sample PDF
Semantic-Based Bluetooth-RFID Interaction for Advanced Resource Discovery in Pervasive Contexts
Chapter 14
Indranil Bose, Chun Wai Lam
Radio frequency identification (RFID) has generated vast amounts of interest in the supply chain, logistics, and the manufacturing area. RFID can be... Sample PDF
Facing the Challenges of RFID Data Management
Chapter 15
Masoud Mohammadian, Ric Jentzsch
The cost of health care continues to be a world wide issue. Research continues into ways and how the utilization of evolving technologies can be... Sample PDF
A Mobile Computing Framework for Passive RFID Detection System in Healthcare
Chapter 16
Masoud Mohammadian, Ric Jentzsch
When dealing with human lives, the need to utilize and apply the latest technology to help in saving and maintaining patients’ lives is quite... Sample PDF
Intelligent Agents Framework for RFID Hospitals
Chapter 17
David Wyld
We are in the midst of what may become one of the true technological transformations of our time. RFID (radio frequency identification) is by no... Sample PDF
Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) Technology
About the Contributors