3M Company has launched an RFID-enabled system to track hospital patient records. The new plug-and-play Patient Record Tracking Solution is intended to make it easy for hospital staff to quickly and easily locate patient records.
The system places an RFID-enabled tag on each patient record. The tags are linked to a 3M database, and a network of strategically placed tracking pads throughout the hospital enables the tags to be scanned into the system. A computer is connected to each tracking pad. Through the database, staff can locate any record in the system.
The system has been deployed at the Walsall General Hospital in Walsall, England, with positive results.
“Prior to the implementation of the new tracking system, it was becoming increasingly difficult to track the whereabouts of patients’ case-notes. This became very time-consuming and labor-intensive, not to mention a financial burden,” said Trevor Gregg, head of Records Management for the Walsall Out-Patients Department. “The most detrimental effect was felt by the patients who were experiencing appointment cancellations; the knock-on effect being that clinics were not scheduled to full capacity.”
“The benefits of the new tracking system include a reduction in the cancellation of appointments, significantly less time and manpower spent searching for notes and more efficient use of clinic time,” said Gregg. “We also anticipate that case-note tracking will enhance the quality of auditing and reporting.”