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AMIA Annu Symp Proc. 2008 Nov 6:525-9.

Comparison of RFID systems for tracking clinical interventions at the bedside.

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Tokyo Medical and Dental University Graduate School, Tokyo, Japan.


In recent years, there have been high expectations for RFID technologies applied in the medical field, particularly for automatic identification and location of patients and medical supplies. However, few studies have measured the applicability of currently available RFID technologies in a medical environment. To determine the technical factors that affect the performance of RFID systems, we examined the performance of different types of tags for medications, medical equipment, nurses, and patients under different experimental conditions. Three kinds of passive RFID tags and one active RFID tag were used in our study. Passive tags were affected by materials such as liquid and metal. Tags based on 13.56MHz were most suited for identifying medications. Tag placement was one of the main factors involved in correct identification of nurses, patients, and medical equipment. The results of this study may help decision makers decide whether (which) RFID technologies are useful for tracking clinical workflow.

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