Not only can the RFID system be used to track items, it can also be used to keep items within a specified area of the hospital. A zone can be set in the system for each tag. If the tag leaves the specified zone an email, text message, phone call or page can be sent from the system alerting that the item has left the area.
Central Services has saved many pieces of equipment from being misplaced, destroyed in the laundry or thrown in the trash using this feature. On the receiving and trash docks, an alert was set that is triggered when a tagged item crosses a specified point. When crossed, an alarm sounds, alerting staff in the area to the presence of a tagged item. Central Services estimates that they have saved well over a quarter million dollars worth of equipment from going to the landfill or through the laundry using the tag alerts.
Tagged assets can also be assessed by their movement history. Each time a tagged item is moved it is recorded in the system. This feature has come in handy when expensive pieces of equipment have gone missing.
With RFID sensors by every entrance and exit, if a tagged item disappears its history can show from where and at what time it left the building. With this information it may then be determined who took the item and how to get it back.
Recently recovered items using this method include an expensive bariatric wheel chair. By using the item’s tag history, Central Services was able to determine at what time and what exit the wheelchair left the CSC. Using this information they were able to determine which patient was using the wheelchair and which company transported the patient. Equipped with this information they were able to retrieve the wheelchair from the transportation company.