[LINK] RFID & Related issues
gramadan at umd.com.au
Thu Nov 18 11:19:47 EST 2004
In regards to health, from my understanding the problem is due to the poor
integration between supply chain elements within a hospital system. I have seen
reports that have identified about 30 different supply chain elements in a
hospital. The information "crossing" between these supply chain is re-keyed in
causing errors and unnecessary delays... and over serving of patients because
the information is not transfered quick enough.
Integrating "data capture" and better IT would help this.
The current IT system dont do this well.
But this is another issue.
May I respectfully point out that I think you have missed a fundamental point on
Maybe I have picked a bad example.
One of the key benefits in that NO operators are required ie. the reading is
automated, typically through a portal type arrangement.
For example 1: in a simple warehousing system.
1) hand held terminals and barcodes with RF communications are used to pick and
pack items in a warehouse (including hospitals).
2) goods are packed and labeled.... also with a "smart label"
3) as goods are loaded onto the transport it is automatically read via the
portal validating picked and shipped items.
As you correctly point out... even with just a barcoding systems errors (and
The trick it to eliminate the human operator and error.
Automated barcoding systems work extremely well... but not all systems lends
itself to barcode automation.
The Pharmaceutical industry is looking to tag drugs.
Also a nice Australian application of RFID in hospitals.
Another RFID example in healthcare
This article talks about the counterfeit drugs and use of RFID technology.
Did you read about the baby that died the other day that was fed counterfeit
baby milk that died....RFID tracking could have prevented this.
Example 2: Libraries
With the new Library RFID systems, they have saved on wasted time and lost books.
Yes you can do the same with Barcodes... and they do ... but it is not practical
(to eliminate all errors), and is fallible.... hence the migration from Barcodes
Conversely not all systems lend themselves to RFID either.
Finally the very point you make:
" the problem is human error...in a variety of guises and at a variety of levels."
proves the value of RFID... eliminate the human and you eliminate the error.
To do this effectively it needs to be automated and seamless. RFID achieves
theses objective (by not needing line of sight and reading at a distance)
Robert Hart wrote:
> On Mon, 2004-11-15 at 22:46, Geoffrey Ramadan wrote:
>>How about the "I will save lives theory" with RFID. I understand there
>>are over 10,000 patients die each year in Australia due to either
>>incorrectly administered drugs or "interference" with other drugs. A
>>system based on RFID could be used to prevent such things.
> I hate to disabuse you, but the patient is already "tagged" (generally
> with a bar coded bracelet) and yet the problems of incorrect dose and
> drug administration still occur.
> Using RFID technology will NOT prevent this sort of problem occurring
> (proof: the existing system which is essentially the same has not
> either). I'm afraid advocating RFID for this is simply another example
> of technology being applied to fix a non-technology problem: the problem
> is human error...in a variety of guises and at a variety of levels.
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