Enabling Real-Time Management and Visibility with RFID

Enabling Real-Time Management and Visibility with RFID

Peter J. Hawrylak (The University of Tulsa, USA), Ajay Ogirala (University of Pittsburgh, USA), Bryan A. Norman (University of Pittsburgh, USA), Jayant Rajgopal (University of Pittsburgh, USA) and Marlin H. Mickle (University of Pittsburgh, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-872-9.ch008


Radio frequency identification (RFID) and Real Time Location Systems (RTLS) provide a wireless means to identify, locate, monitor, and track assets and people. RFID technology can be used for resource and patient location, to reduce costs, improve inventory accuracy, and improve patient safety. A number of pilot deployments of RFID and RTLS technology have yielded promising results, reduced costs, and improved patient care. However, there are three major issues facing RFID and RTLS systems, privacy, security, and location accuracy. As described in this chapter the privacy and security issues can be easily addressed by employing standard security measures. Location accuracy issues are physics-related and new advances continue to improve this accuracy. However, in hospital applications accuracy to the room level is sufficient.
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While radio frequency identification (RFID) technology has a long history of providing efficiency and savings in the consumer goods and supply chain areas, it is now also moving into a number of other application domains. This chapter will examine how Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology can be used to improve resource management and quality of care, and reduce costs in healthcare. The issues of security, privacy, and location accuracy with respect to hospital management and RFID/RTLS will be investigated. Solutions to these issues and future research directions in this area will be presented in this chapter.

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