Exploring RFID Healthcare Operational Strategies

Exploring RFID Healthcare Operational Strategies

Alan D. Smith (Robert Morris University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-9787-4.ch128
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Key Terms in this Chapter

Vendor-Managed Inventory Systems (VMI): VMI-based systems are designed to transfer the control of inventory and its planning activities to a manufacturer or distributor in order to provide a beneficial relationship to promote a more transparent and seamless flow of goods and services at lower costs. As in many recent retailer applications, the supplier/vendor assumes responsible for replenishing and stocking inventory at appropriate levels to minimize inconvenience to the ultimate customer.

Ethical Dilemmas: There are a number of ethical theories that are appropriate for dealing with healthcare issues concerning automatic identification. These theories involve both individual and group behavior that are grounded in moral philosophy, especially in the concepts of consequentialism or deontology ethical philosophy. Perhaps over the last few decades, there has been a revival of virtue-theoretical work in ethical research, especially applied to ethics of healthcare information collection and retrieval.

Barcoding Technology: A long-term and very reliable type of AIDC technology, it is known for its very accurate and economical approaches to identity products and machine readable information from a variety of manufactured goods and services. Most barcodes use a type of standardized bars and spacing coding or symbology that is certified by an international standards body (GS1 System). This system provides for the universal global acceptance of many types of barcodes designed for a variety of shipping and identification applications. Example barcode formats that are in common use today include EAN/UPC, GS1 DataBar, GS1-128, ITF-14, GS1 DataMatrix, GS1 QR Code and Composite Components.

Automatic Identification and Data Capture Technologies (AIDC): Types of AIDC-related technologies to leave the human element out of the data collection and storage functions of information derived from manufacturing, integrated through the manufacturing process, types of authentication concerns and/or e-security strategies, and relationship links to customer profiles. Typical types of AIDC include, bar-coding, RFID, magnetic strips, touch memory, and smart cards.

Healthcare Service Strategies: When it comes to the healthcare industry, an overall strategic goal is to provide affordable coverage and quality service to all citizens that need such services at affordable costs. In healthcare, creating a competitive advantage can be done through providing a service that is highly prized by its customers, or even more importantly, offering the best price for the service.

Supply Chain Management/Performance: In basic terms, supply chain is the system of organizations, people, activities, information and resources involved in moving a product or service from supplier to customer. The configuration and management of supply chain operations is a key way companies obtain and maintain a competitive advantage. The typical manufacturing supply chain begins with raw material suppliers, or inputs. The next link in the chain is the manufacturing, or transformation step; followed the distribution, or localization step. Finally, the finished product or service is purchased by customers as outputs. Service and Manufacturing managers need to know the impact of supply on their organization’s purchasing and logistics processes. However, supply chain performance and its metrics are difficult to develop and actually measure.

Operations Efficiency: Improving efficiency and reducing waste is a major challenge for hospitals and other patient care facilities looking to lower the cost of providing healthcare services. Far and away the largest contributor to operational costs in this industry is patient care activities. Since most clinical decisions involve managing products and medical supplies, finding ways to more efficiently manage supply chain activities can have a big impact on overall operational performance.

RFID-Embedded Technologies: RFID technologies are types of automatic data capture techniques that uses a combination of active and passive senders and receivers to collect and store codified information for further uses. The implementation of such technologies should lead to improved managerial and/or supply chain performance. On the surface, there appears to be few drawbacks to implementing such technology into a production process, assuming it enhances performance and improves output of the product. The main issues surrounding the RFID applications are whether the initial costs and labor required to utilize this technology are worth it, and will result in a positive outcome of revenues.

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