Hospitals Save Costs, Time with Wireless Tags
Many hospitals are turning to RFID technology to keep track of expensive mobile equipment, including pumps, wheelchairs and patient monitors.A typical hospital owns more infusion pumps than licensed beds. Although not every patient needs a pump, leaving many idle, the hospital rents still more of them to be sure that a nurse can find one when its needed. At thousands of dollars a pump, such equipment surpluses are expensive. As a result, many hospitals are turning to RFID technology to keep track of pumps, as well as other expensive mobile equipment, including wheelchairs and patient monitors. According to a report by Spyglass Consulting, the number of hospitals using RFID tags to track assets will skyrocket from 10 percent in mid-2005 to 45 percent by the end of 2007. Such programs promise to cut not only costs, but also the time that clinicians and engineers spend searching for equipment, and the time patients spend waiting for it. To read more about SpyGlass report, click here.
This month, Cisco Systems Inc. pledged to accelerate the process, launching its Clinical Connection Suite. Its latest network service prioritizes information from and tracks the locations of wireless devices, including VOIP (voice over IP) phones, laptops and certain RFID tags.