An RFID tag, linked to a 3M database, is placed on each patient record and a network of strategically placed tracking pads is created around the hospital. Each pad is connected to a computer enabling hospital staff to locate any given record at the click of a button.
Speaking on BBC Radio 4 this week, Edward Leigh MP, Chairman of the Committee on Public Accounts highlighted the need for trusts to invest in alternative or complementary technologies. He said that the Care Records System at the heart of the NHS (digitisation) project was “way off the pace” and that even the revised completion date of 2014-15 for these systems “now looks doubtful”.
Says Paul Woolvine, Sales & Marketing Manager for 3M: “With fresh doubt about a 2015 deadline for the 12 billion Patient Record digitisation project, it is more important than ever that the NHS looks at technologies than can help deliver better, safer and faster care. We strongly believe that our RFID based solution can allow hospitals within the NHS to do just this. The Patient Record becomes ‘intelligent’ and procedural compliance is made easy. Furthermore, experience has shown us that payback on any investment is generally just one year.”
3M Business Development Manager, Chris Millican adds: “Our RFID Patient Record Tracking solution allows hospitals have total control of their vast library of records. A recent implementation at Walsall General Hospital has been a huge success, testimony to which has been the incredible feedback received from both system users and managers alike.”
Says Trevor Gregg, Head of Records Management, Walsall Out-Patients Department: “Prior to the implementation of the new tracking system, it was becoming increasingly difficult to track the whereabouts of patients’ case-notes. This became very time-consuming and labour-intensive, not to mention a financial burden. The most detrimental effect was felt by the patients who were experiencing appointment cancellations; the knock-on effect being that clinics were not scheduled to full capacity. The benefits of the new tracking system include a reduction in the cancellation of appointments, significantly less time and manpower spent searching for notes and more efficient use of clinic time. We also anticipate that case-note tracking will enhance the quality of auditing and reporting.”