Currently UWHC and AeroScout are working on a tag that can survive being autoclaved, the process by which items are sterilized using high pressure and steam. This would then allow for the tagging of surgical instrument trays, which can be both expensive and one of a kind, and make critical tool for patient care easier to find.
In the future tags could also be used as an alternative to fridge alarms. Tags can monitor temperature and humidity in sensitive areas and refrigerators and automatically alert any deviations. Using tags to monitor temperature would eliminate the need for special wiring for fridge alarms and the need for physical fridge temperature checks.
Scheuer also sees possible uses for tagging patients. Tags would allow for tracking of patients that may be at-risk for elopement. If the tagged patient left a specified area, appropriate staff could be automatically notified.
Tagging patients could also be used to examine patient workflows in clinics. By examining a tagged patient’s history, it could be used to determine how long a patient waits at each point in the care process.
By knowing how long patients wait to go from the waiting room to an exam room, how long they are in a procedure room before the procedure begins and how long are they in the recovery room, bottlenecks can be seen in the patient workflow. Once these bottlenecks are found, it can be determined where best to place and use staff to improve the process.