3M’s Track and Trace Solutions division has installed an RFID Smart Shelf System to track and manage the more than 150,000 medical files of U.S. Army personnel and their family members at Fort Hood, Texas, the nation’s largest active-duty domestic armed forces facility.
The custom-designed 3M RFID Smart Shelf System is part of a three-year, $3.76-million contract, and the centerpiece of a pilot program that may be extended to other military installations after a period of evaluation.
As part of the new system, approximately 300 cabinets have been installed with “smart shelves” to accommodate more than 150,000 medical files, whose movements are continuously monitored using Sirit Inc. INfinity 510 UHF tag readers. The system is intended to substantially reduce errors and inefficiencies associated with manual tracking, retrieval, filing and file merging methods of medical records management at Fort Hood, where thousands of files may be in use at the base’s six clinics during any given month.
The program to track and manage Army medical records utilizing RFID technology is being led by the Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center, a unit of the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command, in an attempt to improve operational efficiencies in health care delivery, the troop deployment process, and the management of medical data collection. The ultimate goal is virtually instant accessibility to complete medical records for soldiers and their family members requiring intensive and complex health care services
The Army is the first branch of the U.S. Armed Forces to deploy this RFID system from3M for medical records management. Three other federal government entities are using RFID systems from 3M Track and Trace Solutions for applications not requiring Smart Shelf technology.