Updated: Jul 5, 2021
Smart patient tracking helps healthcare centers with improving services and driving better car. In this article, we focus on the benefits of patient tracking with combination of RFID and IoT to help hospitals get a better idea of what to expect from it.
Smart Patient Monitoring
RFID and IoT technologies can be combined to provide patient tracking in terms of tracking, data storing and analysis. Tracking patients in hospitals helps to upgrade security, identify, and address gaps in the internal processes, improve bed allocation, update doctors’ schedules, and increase patient satisfaction.
Each patient, upon arriving at the hospital, is given a bracelet with an RFID tag. Each tag features relevant patient information: ID, name, electronic medical record, allergies, current condition, test results, recommended medications and so on. As a patient moves around the hospital, readers placed on the walls and ceilings within the hospital and its surrounding territory receive the information about tags location and transfer it to the IoT cloud for processing and analysis. The analysis may be performed in real time, for example, to detect emergencies, and with historical data (e.g. health records) to identify bottlenecks in internal hospital processes and, correspondingly, treatment.
Upon discharge, the tag is collected and further reassigned to another patient.
Benefits for hospitals
Improved monitoring of patients’ location
Real-time visibility into each patient’s location is especially beneficial for elderly patients and patients with mental conditions.
Improved real-time visibility into each patient’s location can bring many other benefits, for example:
Family members are directed quickly to a patient or informed when a patient will be free from a current appointment.
Nurses get better opportunities to monitor child patients
A housekeeping department is notified when all the patients have left the room, and it can be cleaned.
Driving patient safety
Smart tracking quickens the detection of critical incidents such as fall from staircase or slippery floors. Analyzing the data about a patient’s movements and the abrupt change in them, an IoT system makes the conclusion about an incident and sends an alert to a nurse responsible.
If an emergency (for example, fire) happens in a certain ward, floor or department, hospital representatives can control that all the patients have left an endangered area and see that there are bedridden patients who need additional help with evacuation.
In the long run, hospitals or medical facilities can analyze the data collected and detect potentially dangerous areas and take measures to prevent such incidents.
Better tracking of the treatment process
A patient may forget that it’s time to take medication, attend a doctor’s appointment, screening or a certain procedure. RFID tracking helps to pinpoint the exact location of any patient fast and remind of upcoming scheduled events. It can be the responsibility of a floor nurse. Otherwise, a patient may receive notification through a mobile app, or even an inbuilt alert function in a patient bracelet.
Enhancing internal schedules
As soon as the events connected to every patient (visited and planned appointments, movements from one department to another, and so on) are recorded in the patient tracking system, a hospital can better see into its overall load and the load of separate departments and doctors. This info gives a healthcare provider the opportunity to adjust staff workflows and patient treatment schedules to better use hospital facilities and time.
Assessing and predicting patient flow
Accumulated RFID data can help a healthcare organization in predicting patient flow. This data can be further used, for example, for planning in the long term how much medication and equipment to buy to make sure that they will be used and won’t idle.
Smart patient tracking with RFID and IoT gives greater visibility into each patient’s location, improves patient safety, helps to identify the gaps in internal hospital processes and find the ways to cover these gaps.
Along with the benefits, there are challenges as well. These challenges need to be addressed to ensure the solution is rugged and secure.
Regami shall be able to support you with the device development, implementing IoT solution, integrating with the cloud, developing web application and mobile apps. Regami also has experience with HIPAA Compliant.
Our experts and BAs shall be able to understand your requirement, derive the architecture, address all challenges, implement security measures and so on.