RFID ensures safety in Thailand hospitals

Bangkok Hospital, one of the biggest hospitals in Thailand providing tertiary healthcare, has been studying a plan to implement RFID (radio frequency identification) technology to enhance the level of safety for its patients. Completing its pilot project on the technology, the hospital plans to fully implement RFID this year before expanding it to 13 hospitals in its group in Bangkok and provinces countrywide within three years. RFID is a technology based on radio that can identify an item, an animal or a person through an electronic label or tag capable of transmitting data. With its traceability, the technology is a recognised alternative to applications in which the barcode has reached its limit. It is expected that an RFID-based wristband will be issued to patients. The band will carry basic information about the patient, such as name, sex, age, and probably information about drugs to be used and the correct dosages to be administered. Since patients’ data will be kept securely in the RFID chip embedded in the wristband, this would enable doctors and nurses to avail themselves of patient information and thereby have all details on hand at the bedside within seconds. With the technology, it is expected that faster, easier identification of patients will enable medical staff to intensify the level of care and to administer drugs easily and safely, since certain data and risk factors, such as allergies for example, can be stored for each patient. The implementation of the patient-care application will improve accuracy when it comes to administering drugs. The wireless technology will be used as backbone to connect RFID to the hospital’s back end when it comes to adding to or calling for patient information at the database. Also, the hospital plans to have personal digital assistants as well as laptop computers equipped with RFID to enable doctors and nurses to retrieve information from the patients’ RFID wristband and access data online.


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