Ficha del recurso:
Fecha del informe:
Wednesday, 1 de April de 2009
Friday, 24 de July de 2009
Entrada en el observatorio:
Friday, 24 de July de 2009
Sector de actividad:
Study on the requirements and options for Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) application in healthcare
A major new research report commissioned by the European Commission has detailed the opportunities for, and barriers to, the deployment of auto-tracking technology in European healthcare systems.
The report, which focuses on Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), says that despite being a useful tool in logistics and operational management it is so far “less successful in patient care and quality of care improvement.”
The report states: “Compared to logistics, patient care delivery applications face greater implementation problems. Interference of RFID and other wireless equipment with electronic equipment remains the single biggest obstacle to RFID roll-out in healthcare.”
The study titled: “Requirements and options for Radio Frequency Identification application in healthcare,” was conducted by RAND Europe, the Cambridge-based policy research organisation.
The report includes an assessment of expert views from the healthcare industry and seven case studies from healthcare organisations in Italy, the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, America and the UK in order to establish the cost benefits of existing RFID applications.
It stresses that RFID is not unique in many of its functionalities and that other more consolidated auto tracking technologies, such as bar coding and DataMatrix [2-D bar coding], provide similar capabilities, often for a lesser cost.
“In several contexts, RFID is seen as complementary to these technologies, increasingly in combination with WiFi infrastructures,” says the report.
Of the seven case studies, the hospital in the Netherlands failed to complete the pilot, which entailed running three pilots simultaneously. A further two, in Geneva and Germany, decided to opt for DataMatrix solutions instead of RFID.
The document highlights that physical constraints, such as tag size, lack of “off-the-shelf RFID systems” and poor battery capacity are present further obstacles to the wider roll-out of RFID.
It also states that “the cost-benefit ratio of RFID applications can be either unclear or even negative in some healthcare settings”.
In addition, despite RFID being promoted to improve patient safety, “the experience across most cases suggests that hospitals are not ready to carry the costs and are not yet convinced of the benefits.”
Despite this, the report suggests that there is potential room for realising economic benefits and improving the delivery of care when RFID applications are successfully adopted in a healthcare setting.
However, the document also clearly stresses that RFID offers benefits in providing a better operational overview of medical assets, tracking patients and improving the automatic collection of data and its transfer to back office mechanisms.
The report concludes that the benefits of RFID depend largely on organisational, financial and technical considerations and that, in particular, strong commitment of senior management and direct engagement of all relevant interests are essential.
CONSTANTIJN VAN ORANJE, REBECCA SCHINDLER, LORENZO VALERI, ANNA MARIE VILAMOVSKA, EVI HATZIANDREU, ANNALIJN CONKLIN