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Re: RFID Tracking
Chris Watts #33594 15/09/08 2:08 PM
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I have just registered on the site as I believe that this is the best forum to have a disucssion about RTLS.

I have recently left the NHS after 10 years to go to a company called ekahau. We do this asset tracking that you have highlighted, and now have it installed in a number of NHS sites, as well as other industries.

As you are all aware the NHS are starting to take up wireless technology, however this type of tech is still very new in the UK.

I have sent a mail to the admin of the site as I certainly dont want to come across as a salesmen (which I would like to add im not, im the techie). However I am more than happy to answer questions, and if you would like us to come to your sites to give you a live demo of the solution providing you feel you have the scope and requirement to use location tracking then I am more than happy to do so.

Re: RFID Tracking
Jason G #33595 15/09/08 3:08 PM
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Welcome to the forum, Jason.

What is the main thrust for having a system such as Asset Tracking. I guess we have to give this the right approach before any organisation would embark into considering such a system and I guess it would not be cheap for such a system to be installed. crazy


Make the impossible POSSIBLE. I know we all can and it is the wisdom to distinguish one from the other.

My blog: http://biomedicalengineeringconsultancy.blogspot.sg/

Re: RFID Tracking
Roger #33597 15/09/08 3:44 PM
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Thanks Roger. Singapore eh, your along way from the UK.

Most if not all Hospitals are having to review their asset register on a regular basis to ensure the right quantity of Assets are available for the right uses in the right locations. As such there is alot of emphysis put on the Medical Engineering/Electronics Departments to ensure that this is managed correctly.

There are many EBME Managers out there who are told increasingly that cost have to be cut, and finance departments who advise that if the piece of medical equipement and other assets cannot be accounted for, then it will be written off the asset register along with the original purchase price and that will be cut from the budget for replacement.

What adds to this is, as we all know, are Wards and other departments like to "stock" manage this kit, and will actively hide it in fear that they may not get the pump, monitor or driver when urgently needed. This in turn give false usage levels of equipement. Unfortunately without actual usage reports it can become very difficult to ask for additional kit during the next year spend. Without any justification finance departments will not sign off on new kit. And on the flip side, you may identify that you actually have more of a particular type of device than needed, and as such divert your spend to something else.

A solution like this can be, and is also being used for helping with maintenance of the equipement,as the EBME team can now locate and manage it accordingly.

Below are some points which give you an overview of other uses:

•Bed management - Either ensuring that the right type of bed is available when needed, whether it is being cleaned down, or whether beds are in use
•Ensuring that the right quantity of equipment is used in the right locations, and can be easily located for maintenance. For instance medical equipment such as IV Pumps, Monitors and Syringe Drivers to name just a few. This can also be applied to computers on wheels, which cost a lot of money for the carts, rather than desktop replacements as they are stored in Offices.
•Assisting in Process Management, change control etc, and by reporting usage and throughput of assets and People through the Organisation. This would be used potentially by the Lean Team who may use other technique such as Kaisan and Six Sigma.
•Locating PDA’s or the CfH MCA Tablet for obs at the bedside
•Locating and Managing Wheel chairs
•Staff Security. Should an incident occur, then an alert can be sent from a tag to a central location, this can also be sent to a group of tags as a message and the closest Security member of staff can respond immediately.
•Patient Tracking. Should a Patient decide to leave the Ward to visit the shop for instance or the stretch their legs, and then a Consultant is visiting the Ward and wants to see the Patient, the Ward Staff can not only locate the Patient, but can send them a message to return to the Ward.
•Our E-Client can be run on any Windows device. We can also track certain types of WLAN VOIP Phones
•Assist the finance department in ensuring that the cost of equipment is managed correctly.
•As the system has Virtual Zoning, you can create threshold points, and should the tag either enter or exit that point then an event will take place in the system either causing an alert to be actioned, or another system to be updated.

All these points will help the Organisation at various levels and various departments. Also please beaware that what I work with is purely active wi-fi RTLS/RFID which operates at 2.4Ghz.

oh, by the way on the cost front. Providing a wireless network has been installed correctly, then our solution is completely scalable. so its not big bang all at once, it can be managed on a cost, resource or size basis. but the ROI (went all salemen then) is pretty much seen within the first year.

fyi - we do not require ANY additional hardware for the system to work, and the communication is 2-way so you get battery levels and can send messages providing its that type of tag

Re: RFID Tracking
Jason G #33599 16/09/08 4:03 AM
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Hi Jason,

It is a long way but with internet technology it is never too far to engage in a forum or even business.

RFID wasn't very new technology as I remembered many years back in 2000 when we were trying out Asset Management and one of the US vendors is prepare to put on a trial in the hospital. We are a 1200 bedded hospital and to put up access points everywhere would cost us a bomb. By the time installation was about to start the Company suddenly announced it has gone into bankrucy protection.

But the main question is really how does hospital justify for such an acquisition since it is a million dollar question. What will be the basis of ROI. I guess this equates to dollars and cents and the duration it takes to recover the investment. For your commment.

Last edited by Roger; 16/09/08 4:04 AM.

Make the impossible POSSIBLE. I know we all can and it is the wisdom to distinguish one from the other.

My blog: http://biomedicalengineeringconsultancy.blogspot.sg/

Re: RFID Tracking
Jason G #33605 16/09/08 7:50 AM
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RFID ... a must have? Or something else that, five or ten years down the line, will become yet another system in the hospital that "doesn't work anymore" (aka yet another half-baked "gee-whiz" scheme and a waste of tax-payers' money)?

Personally, (although I'm interested in the technology) I believe that any money available would be better spent on in-house tech support of medical equipment.

"Lean Team" ... or Fat Price?

I was going to give a rebuttal to each of your bulleted points one by one, but I'll spare you that. So here are just a couple of points in response to your last post:- don't user departments "own" their equipment these days? And ...

Originally Posted By: Jason G
•Assist the finance department in ensuring that the cost of equipment is managed correctly.

... in what way? And, anyway, who gives a damn what those Bean Counters think (...can they fix the kit)?

Have you seen this thread, Jason? smile


If you don't inspect ... don't expect.
Re: RFID Tracking
Geoff Hannis #33612 16/09/08 9:06 AM
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Well I have seen a good number of RFID vendors trying to sell the system to the healthcare sectors. Many hospitals were concerned with the initial cost and maintenance since those active tags will likely to introduce battery replacement after 6 - 12 months. By far, I don't think hospital will be convinced for such a system in the hospital. Perhaps to a small confined department where monitoring of fast depleting inventories are important to them as each time they have to top up sooner than they thought.


Make the impossible POSSIBLE. I know we all can and it is the wisdom to distinguish one from the other.

My blog: http://biomedicalengineeringconsultancy.blogspot.sg/

Re: RFID Tracking
Roger #33626 16/09/08 2:07 PM
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Anyone read the recent Jama paper on RFID's?
Electromagnetic Interference From Radio Frequency
Identification Inducing Potentially Hazardous Incidents
in Critical Care Medical Equipment

Remko van der Togt; Erik Jan van Lieshout; Reinout Hensbroek; et al.

JAMA. 2008;299(24):2884-2890 (doi:10.1001/jama.299.24.2884)

http://jama.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/full/299/24/2884



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Re: RFID Tracking
DAS #33633 16/09/08 2:25 PM
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Potentially Hazardous ... someone else making a career out of scare-mongering? smile


If you don't inspect ... don't expect.
Re: RFID Tracking
Geoff Hannis #33637 16/09/08 2:31 PM
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So were mobile phones and Tetra. The passive systems are in the 4 watt range, similar to Tetra. I've seen what a police radio can do to a patient monitor. They were quick to turn them off as it was one of their own in the bed mind.

Would be interesting to here if anyone using RFID systems has experienced similar issues


Never under-estimate the predictability of stupidity
Re: RFID Tracking
DAS #33643 16/09/08 2:44 PM
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RFID (did you mean active?) ... police communications ... TETRA ... telemetry ... SMS ... WiFi ... BlueTooth ... GSM etc. All different (horses for courses). smile


If you don't inspect ... don't expect.
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