RFID Helps Hospitals to Save Thousands of Dollars

The newly-built Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Alliance in Fort Worth is using RFID tags on items including high-value assets, wristbands on patients and the badges of all staff members.

RFID tags are also playing a role in ensuring that a patient who asks for an extra pillow receives it in a timely manner. The pillow can be delivered quickly because the nurse call system is integrated with RFID and RTLS (real-time location system) technology. The patient presses a button and the countdown to pillow delivery begins. Separate button can alert nurses to a call for assistance to the bathroom, a need for pain medication or a medical emergency.

Over the past two years, RFID has saved the Texas Health Alliance $65,000 per month in rental fees, said Kathi Cox, a project coordinator at parent company Texas Health Resources.

All rental equipment is tagged. When rolling the equipment out of a patient’s room, the nurse presses a button that sends an alert to the rental company to pick up the item. In addition, thanks to RTLS, the driver from the rental company will know exactly where to find the equipment.

Administrators are finding that there inexpensive and unobtrusive tags are saving thousands of dollars while increasing quality of care and patient satisfaction.