Radio Frequency Identification Technologies and Issues in Healthcare

Radio Frequency Identification Technologies and Issues in Healthcare

Amber A. Smith-Ditizio (Texas Woman's University, USA) and Alan D. Smith (Robert Morris University, USA)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 13
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-7489-7.ch035

Abstract

One of the most compelling cases for RFID-embedded technologies in the healthcare field has been made by documenting increased efficiency in supply chain performance measurements, which generally consist of financial and non-financial indicators. The chapter suggests that patient flows and safety are key measures of hospital operation efficiency. Process bottlenecks in hospitals can delay discharge times and lead to higher costs and lower quality of service, which in turn affects the overall performance and business of the hospital. Hospitals have struggled to control costs, and RFID-embedded technologies should allow management to prioritize their technology spending and reduce total cost of suppliers and operational expenses.
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Introduction

Barcodes and related identification technologies have been used to control inventory and supply chain management (SCM) for some time, especially in retail and purchasing applications (Aldaihani & Darwish, 2013; Azadeh, Gholizadeh, & Jeihoonian, 2013; Bhamu, Khandelwal, & Sangwan, 2013). Barcoding equipment is fairly inexpensive and easy to use as compared to other AIDC technologies (Smith, 2011; Smith, Smith, & Baker, 2011; Smith & Rupp, 2013; Visich, Li, Khumawala, & Reyes, (2009; Wilson, 1995; Wyld, (2006). However, certain limitations create the need for a new approach to increase efficiency (Drejer & Riis, 2000; Dutta, Lee, & Whang, 2007; Fisher & Monahan, 2008; Fumi, Scarabotti, & Schiraldi, 2013). Barcodes are only accurate if items are continuously scanned in and out as they move along the supply system. An employee must ensure an item is scanned at each stage, or entry and exit point. An example of this would be a delivery driver that scans packages as a truck is loaded and scans the package at the delivery point. If the package is not scanned, the action is not accurately recorded. Barcodes require an employee to physically inspect the item for scanning purposes to ensure inventory accuracy and determine the product’s location, while Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) conveniently tracks products through radio waves, designed to improve operational efficiency.

RFID technologies helped Walmart to control its inventory and track product movements along its supply chain (Tarofdor, Marthandan, Mohan & Tarofdor, 2013). Furthermore, RFID has been used in the identification of stray pets, which is known as chipping and in transportation, in addition to sports. Experimentation with RFID in soccer may soon allow a visually impaired player to participate in the game by integration of computers and video cameras, along with an active RFID tag to signal to the player through a set of audio headphones (Zare, McMullen & McCune, 2014).

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