Hospital keeps tabs on supplies with RFID

By Nadine Arendse
Johannesburg, 26 Jul 2012

Hospital keeps tabs on supplies with RFID

LogiTag Systems has announced the implementation of its Smart Cabinet and StockBox RFID systems at New York Hospital Queens, LogiTag reports.

This is the first installation in the US healthcare market and other installations are in progress. The system has been utilised for several years in Israel and several other countries to manage high-cost medical devices and supplies.

New York Hospital Queens is a 439-bed med/surg hospital that is part of the New York Presbyterian Healthcare System. The Smart Cabinet system is successfully managing a variety of high-cost devices in two interventional radiology labs in the newly constructed wing of the hospital.

According to RFID Journal, the technology will help the hospital to manage its inventory of medical devices and consumables, including stents, catheters and filters, used within its interventional radiology unit.

The RFID solution allows staff members to remove implants or other necessary items from a locked cabinet, and automatically creates a digital record of which items have been removed, and by whom. In addition, the system enables the hospital to maintain a record of which items were actually used during a particular procedure, via barcode scans. In the future, says Jed Golden, New York Hospital Queens' director of materials management, this information may be linked to existing management software, for the purpose of billing those products to that patient.

LogiTag's Smart Cabinet and StockBox solutions both incorporate RFID technology compliant with the ISO 15693 standard for 13.56MHz passive RFID tags. The Smart Cabinet, intended for tracking such high-value and time-sensitive items as implants used during surgical procedures, has a built-in RFID reader designed and manufactured by LogiTag to capture when products enter and leave its shelves, and to provide access to authorised employees.

The StockBox is intended for consumables, such as surgical supplies, that are used only once. When a predetermined amount of product is consumed, an RFID tag is placed within an RFID-enabled box, thereby triggering the reordering of that item from the warehouse or stockroom.