Swiss Oncology Center Prevents Errors via RFID


To ensure that every patient receives the proper therapy specific to his condition, Riviera Hospital, a new oncology center in Switzerland, has deployed an RFID-based solution.

With the solution in place, the facility is able to treat patients at a rate of 10-15 minutes each, while it was 15-20 minutes per patient without RFID technology, the center’s management estimates. But more importantly, says Riviera Hospital’s Marc Pachoud, linking an ID number on a patient’s ID card with the IDs of any treatment devices used on that individual provides assurance that no patient receives inappropriate therapy.

The medical center employs radiotherapy technology vendor Elekta’s Versa HD, a high-dose radiotherapy device, to deliver radiation beams to the particular part of a patient’s body requiring treatment. The RFID system consists of an UHF RFID reader installed on the Versa HD device, as well as RFID tags embedded in cards carried or worn by patients. Tags are also attached to the radiotherapy treatment accessories to be used on patients, enabling the software to issue an alert in the event that the wrong treatment is being applied.

Thanks to the RFID technology, Pachoud says, the center has been able to safely treat patients at a rate of one every 10 minutes, since technicians are now informed automatically about whether the correct equipment is present before a patient’s radiation treatment begins. Without the technology, the staff must visually inspect each item and compare it against the electronic record in order to prevent any errors from occurring.