Why hospitals are choosing RAIN RFID for asset management October 18th, 2018

Why hospitals are choosing RAIN RFID for asset management
An uncomfortable truth for many healthcare providers is that around half of their mobile equipment fleet is likely idle at any one time. This is not only hurting their budget, but also putting patient care at risk.

Putting the cost of idle mobile equipment into context

Consider a hospital with 400-500 beds. It will typically have around 10,000 pieces of mobile equipment - from infusion pumps and portable monitors, to gurneys and wheelchairs. Ideally, each item would be in use most of the time unless it’s being maintained or cleaned.

In practice, items are misplaced, undergoing maintenance, or even hidden away by clinical departments concerned about having equipment available when it’s needed.

Buying more equipment doesn’t solve the problem. What healthcare providers really need is a way to make existing equipment work harder.

So what can healthcare providers do to maximise equipment usage and minimise risk?

Well, most users are now familiar with Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), a form of wireless communication that uses radio waves to identify and track objects. RFID is a generic term that encompasses different frequencies and standards, including RAIN RFID.

What is RAIN RFID?

RAIN RFID is a passive (battery-free) wireless technology system that connects billions of everyday items to the Internet, enabling users to identify, locate, authenticate and engage items. RAIN RFID is used in a wide variety of applications, including inventory management, patient safety, asset tracking and item authentication.

RAIN RFID digitises the physical world, allowing it to become an information system that can automatically sense what is happening, share related data, and respond. RAIN RFID provides the ability to:

  • Uniquely identify an individual item beyond just its product type
  • Identify and locate items without direct line-of-sight
  • Identify many items quickly (up to 1,000 items per second)
  • Locate items within a vicinity of between a few centimetres to several meters
  • Connect real-time information about an item’s identity, location or authenticity to the cloud.

Hospital asset management enabled by RAIN RFID ensures that each item is professionally cleaned, well maintained, and readily available. RAIN RFID tags, which are small yet durable, signal the location of every device to readers placed throughout a hospital. This lets users know if something mistakenly went into the laundry or out the door, or is standing around unused.

BlueStar, together with its partner IMPINJ, offers this technology as a part of its wider healthcare solutions proposal. Efficiency and safety in asset management is one of the top targets of BlueStar, where you can find a number of solutions to fit your individual requirements all under one roof.

For more information, read IMPINJ’s whitepaper ‘New Thinking on an Old Challenge: Improving Healthcare Asset Management with RAIN RFID Technology’.


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.