Making the Clinical Process Safe and Efficient Using RFID in Healthcare

Making the Clinical Process Safe and Efficient Using RFID in HealthcareThe Fondazione Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori (the Italian National Cancer Institute) in Milan can be considered a forerunner in the usage of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) in the European healthcare sector, as it is moving towards this technology in many clinical areas. The Istituto had a need for greater efficiency in the management of the transfusion process, as it had no information system for the detailed monitoring and control of the process; the transfusion service did not have instant access to all the necessary information and for some procedures operators only have access to hardcopy aids.

Using RFID the Istituto can now achieve a greater capacity for controlling and monitoring the transfusion system, with the aim of enhancing safety, transparency and quality. RFID tags are sticked on blood bags and patient wristbands. Staff is provided with RFID identification cards and PDAs (with an application developed by the project team) and thus enabled to register patients at their arrival, verify the patient-blood match and recognise at any time patients and transfusional units. Each event is automatically traced by the system and sent to the Transfusion Centre, providing an essential informative feedback which was not available before.

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