RFID for real-time asset tracking in healthcare October 18th, 2018

RFID for real-time asset tracking in healthcare
Healthcare facilities have an equipment problem.

In 1995, the average patient had eight medical devices at bedside. With advances in technology, by 2010 that number had grown to 13, and it continues to grow.

Caregivers are busy with patients – they don’t have time to catalog and track where expensive patient care and diagnostic assets are in a facility, and often equipment is unaccounted for. This presents problems:

  • Hospital staff find it difficult to find mobile assets, so when they do find the equipment they need they will hoard it. This prevents others from using it.
  • When items can’t be located, more equipment is purchased or rented so people who need it can do their job. This duplicates assets and spending.
  • Unavailable equipment can put a patient at risk. In critical care surroundings, immediate access to a mobile asset may mean the difference between life and death.

To ensure patient safety and protect the bottom line, more healthcare facilities are beginning to adopt automated asset management systems, referred to as Real Time Location Strategy (RLTS). By creating a network of sensors and tags, mobile medical equipment like ECGs, infusers, beds and wheelchairs can can be traced, catalogued and located in real time using RFID technology: sensors placed throughout a facility recognise a tagged item as it passes by, logging its location and transmitting the data to a central site. Some RFID asset management software even offers app-based tracking and location, making it easier to find the right equipment when and where it’s needed.

RFID improves patient safety, increases staff productivity, and reduces healthcare costs. RFID tags encoded by BarTender will use equipment location information to help people trace the equipment they need immediately. BarTender's simple, intuitive Intelligent Templates™ are at the heart of RLTS in healthcare, making encoding of RFID tags as easy as creating a barcode. Just select an RFID printer on your network as your label’s destination, and BarTender does the work for you, from serialisation to security and access.

BarTender enables seamless integration with most third-party asset management software packages, and provides the system interoperability that increases labeling accuracy and improves efficiencies throughout the healthcare supply chain.


Samantha is BlueStar's Digital Media Specialist, and the primary contributing writer for VartechNation. Previously, she has worked as a Public Relations Associate and a Social Media Manager.