Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston next month will begin a pilot program to track patients, medical records and equipment in the emergency department with radio frequency identification technology, Health-IT World News reports. The hospital hopes to improve workflow by identifying patterns in the ED and tracking how long people and supplies are in certain places, Beth Israel CIO John Halamka said.
The hospital is currently planning the pilot and conducting a survey throughout the facility to determine its specific RFID needs, Halamka said. Because of the complex nature of EDs, accurate tracking and getting wireless signals will be a challenge, he said. However, if the hospital can track equipment and people in individual ED rooms, the pilot will be successful, Halamka said.
Beth Israel is working with wireless firm SideBand Systems to determine the hospital's RFID bandwidth and channel requirements. A PanGo Networks Web-based tracking system will monitor the tagged items and patients in the pilot. More than 100 ED workers will participate in the program (Berman, Health-IT World News, 6/29).
A recent survey of more than 350 IT executives found that requirements from government and large retailers have encouraged 46% of respondents to begin RFID adoption. Another 51% expect to deploy RFID within two years. The survey was conducted in April by BearingPoint, the Software & Information Industry Association and CIO magazine (Repsher Emery, Washington Technology, 6/29).