RFID SYSTEMS: MEDICAL DEVICE TRACKING
Control of accident & emergency critical equipment
For ambulance crews the critical issue is care for the patient. Speedy response, assessment and stabilisation of the patient, coupled with a swift transfer to hospital are the first priority.
Crews need on-board equipment in ambulances in order to do their job but keeping track of essential assets is sometimes difficult. Under pressure of dealing with emergencies, equipment may be misplaced, exchanged with other vehicles or crews, or left in hospitals. Equipment returned to the ambulance may not be stowed in the correct location, possibly leading crews to think it is missing.
Technology can solve this problem. Our RFID based solution helps emergency vehicle operators keep track of essential equipment. Designed in conjunction with one of the UK’s ambulance services, CheckedOK Medical dramatically improves the control of on-vehicle assets.
CheckedOK Medical is already in use by one of the UK’s regional ambulance services.
Controlling Work In Progress
CheckedOK Medical uses low cost rugged electronic tags to identify vehicles and critical items of equipment. These tags can be read from a short distance, providing immediate recognition of which assets are present in a given location. Using a handheld computer it is possible to take an immediate, electronic, inventory of which items are present on a vehicle and which, if any, are missing.
With the CheckedOK Medical system, each item that is to be monitored is given its own electronic tag. These small devices carry a unique identifying number which, when read, can link a particular item to its record of whereabouts and use.
Typically such items as resuscitators, defibrillators, nitronox heads and suction units would be tagged. Then, using a small hand-held computer, an ambulance can be quickly checked to ensure that all essential equipment is on board.
Pressing a “read” button triggers the computer to identify the tags on the vehicle, comparing those present with a list of those expected to be found on that specific vehicle. A simple red / green traffic light system indicates items missing, items present but with an unexpected asset identifier (because, for example an asset has been moved for one vehicle to another) and items that are present and correct. Items mis-stowed will still be highlighted as present, allowing them to be located on the vehicle.
Tag identity data from the handheld computer can be uploaded to a database that provides an up to date record of which assets are on which vehicles at which station – an essential aid to effective on-vehicle asset management.
The CheckedOK Medical Systems provides:
- Reduced losses of mobile / portable assets.
- Better control of equipment.
- Improved data on assets.
- Better accountability for equipment use.
CheckedOK Medical has a number of important features:
- Uses industry standard RFID tags available in many different formats from many suppliers & industry standard handheld PC technology.
- Uses tags operating in the UHF waveband shown not to interfere with medical equipment.
- Can be used to track any number of items over any number of vehicles and sites.
- Database fully supported as a hosted application by CoreRFID or available for installation on the user’s own systems.