RFID Case Study: RFID in Hospitals

RFID Project Hospital: The bed with memory manages maintenance and cleaning of hospital beds

At a glance...

  • Guaranty of legal maintenance cycles
  • Decentralization of processes
  • Faster processing
  • Lower manual effort
  • More transparency and better scheduling
  • Improved quality control
Used RFID Hardware
  • RFID Reader HF70 LongRange
  • RFID Transponder Card

RFID Frequency 13.56 MHz (HF)

The process organization in large clinics is a logistical challenge. Every day, numerous cleanings and regular maintenances accumulate. Furthermore, strict legal regulations require documentation of all processes. Maintenance plans must be prepared, data sheets have to be updated and all inspections must be recorded in detail. This is often done manually, which is time-consuming and occupies hospital personnel. The solution to this problem is no longer a dream of the future: a hospital bed can now manage itself and automate the documentation process. 

The challenge

In a large municipal clinic, beds circling non-systemically between laundries and repair shop will hereafter be a thing of the past. Transmitting mini computers get in the lead. In 2004 the clinic with approx. 1,500 beds and 2,100 staff members decided in favor of a remote-controlled monitoring system communicating automatically whenever a bed ether because of a predetermined number of cleanings or rotationally falls due for inspection. Thanks to the most advanced RFID technology the processes are transparent at any time and the compliance with legal regulations can be guaranteed.

The implementation

The "intelligent" hospital bed makes this possible.
Thereby the solution is in the details:
A radio chip attached to each bed acts as memory and assumes the organization for the clinic personnel. This transponder saves any information like number and type of bed, the parts expected as well as the number of cleanings and outstanding maintenance's.

Thus the bed thinks automatically and sends a signal via radio communication when a maintenance has to be effected. This happens literally in one go. Whensoever a bed leaves one of the eight laundries after cleaning the survey system automatically checks on opening the door whether it has to be brought to the repair shop on the premises. Via receiving aerials mounted on the left and on the right side of each gateway the data are read out and subsequently updated.

A memory programmable controller serves as “distributing center” which is connected via Ethernet with a host data base system saving data. In this way the intelligent hospital bed manages itself and the personnel will be relieved.

After maintenance the trained service man retrieves the information of the transponder just via a mobile hand-held device and confirms “maintenance done”. The previous data will be backed up so that the new process can be started. Thereby the information subsequently saved in the data base are available at any time for future evaluation and control. Like a mobile appointment calendar the intelligent hospital bed ensures an exact documentation of all processes.