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Health Care/Pharmaceutical

Health-care and pharmaceutical companies are achieving real benefits from employing radio frequency identification. In the health-care field, hospitals and other medical facilities are employing RFID to improve patient safety, increase asset utilization with real-time tracking, boost revenue with automated billing and reduce medical errors using track-and-match applications. Learn how RFID is impacting ROI in the health-care environment, while also improving efficiencies.

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May 1, 2013

1:30 PM—Track Session
Update on the Veterans Health Administration Enterprise-wide RTLS Deployment
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is rolling out an enterprise-wide real-time location system (RTLS) for its Veterans Health Administration (VHA) division, which runs 152 medical centers and 1,400 community clinics and non-patient VHA facilities. The agency is focusing initially on four use cases: asset management, temperature tracking, supply chain management and sterilization process flow management. Get an update on the VA's progress and the benefits it has seeing to date, and learn how the department is managing such a large, complex deployment.
Andrew Mazotas, MS, Biomedical Engineer, RTLS PMO, Veterans Health Administration
2:20 PM—Track Session
Celebration Health Improves Efficiency with RTLS
Celebration Health, a Florida Hospital facility, is employing a real-time location system (RTLS) to measure the operational efficiency of its new patient tower, which opened in mid-August 2011. At the tower, nurses wear RTLS badges enabling the hospital to gather and analyze data regarding staff members' movements, in order to ascertain how the unit could be more efficient. The system utilizes the facility's existing Wi-Fi infrastructure, with tags that transmit data to the Wi-Fi nodes, and software that manages the information related to RTLS reads. The firm is using its own business-management software, including Microsoft Excel spreadsheets, to evaluate the data and determine what it means for staff efficiency, and how it could be improved. Learn how the solution allows management to view, for example, when employees take extra steps, enabling the hospital to improve procedures based on those findings.
Todd Frantz, Associate Chief Technology Officer, Florida Hospital
Ashley Simmons, Operations Performance Improvement Consultant, Florida Hospital
• Why the system is not linked to specific employees
• How the hospital is using the data to determine what motion is useful and valuable, as well as identify motion or activity that reduces efficiency
3:10 PM—Track Session
How RFID Helps St. Joseph's Hospital Optimize Inventory Management in an Acute-Care Setting
Saint Joseph's Hospital, a 410-bed facility located in Atlanta, Ga., uses RFID technology and a Web-based information system to optimize its management of high-cost medical devices valued at $2 million in the specialty areas of the hospital's cardiac catheterization and electrophysiology labs. Hear how the system interfaces with several hospital information systems already in use at Saint Joseph's, employing high-frequency (HF) 13.56 MHz passive RFID tags conforming to the ISO 15693 standard, to link items to a digital database, where they can then be tracked and monitored. In addition, learn how the system enables the facility to quickly generate real-time reports and analysis, resulting in a significant cost savings and improved charge capture.
Lisa Stepps, Data Manager, Cardiovascular Services, St. Joseph's Hospital
• How improved accuracy of information in an automated manner provides immediate opportunities for savings on labor
• The importance of selecting a system that interfaces with existing hospital information systems, thus saving employees time and eliminating manual keystroke errors
4:00 PM—Track Session
RFID Improves Management of Emergency Medicine Kits
The pharmacy department of the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC), a 750-bed hospital located in Baltimore, is employing an RFID-based solution to aid in the stocking of medication kits transported around the hospital for use with patients in the event of emergencies. Emergency medications are used for patients who require immediate intervention. Each kit comes with approximately 25 to 50 items, and is sealed until one of those supplies is required, at which time the kit's plastic covering is removed and the necessary items are taken out. Once the kit is no longer needed, it is then returned to the pharmacy, where staff members must determine what has been removed, and thus what must be replaced. Through the use of an RFID reader station, the facility is able to identify which medications are loaded onto a crash cart's tray, which require replenishment, and those approaching their expiration dates. As an added benefit, the facility has reduced the amount of time employees must spend loading each emergency medication tray, from approximately 20 minutes down to less than 5 minutes. Learn how the system automates the process, and how it is successfully reducing the risk of manual errors as trays are loaded.
Adrienne Shepardson Phar.D., Manager, Central Pharmacy Services, University of MD Medical Center, Department of Pharmacy
• How the use of RFID reduced labor costs, since the manual system required two workers to check every kit for errors
• How the solution has afforded the facility a better understanding of the hospital's inventory

May 2, 2013

9:00 AM—Track Session
A Technology and ROI Roadmap for RFID in Pharmaceuticals
This presentation will explore the latest developments about the world's first completely automated RFID test system for unit- and case-level serialization for pharmaceuticals. Researchers at the University of South Florida's RFID Lab for Applied Research designed a closed-loop conveyor system that requires no human supervision to accurately simulate the actual packaging line's product separation and flow speed. The system also includes a modular and adaptable RFID station that can be modified based on an individual company's requirements. Uniquely developed test software has the capability of cycling through and analyzing the complete range of parameters for the most commonly used RFID standards, such as Electronic Product Code (EPC) Class 1 Gen 2. Hear the results of a comprehensive return-on-investment (ROI) study, undertaken to create a well-defined roadmap for cost analysis for both the pharmaceutical and perishable industries.
Ultan McCarthy, Post-Doctoral Researcher, College of Engineering, University of South Florida
Ismail Uysal, Ph.D., Director of RFID Lab for Applied Research and Assistant Professor, University of South Florida
• How a comprehensive ROI calculator, with a wide range of input parameters, focusing on three key-performance-indicators—financial, operational and customer relationship management—can provide uniquely customized RFID business cases for different pharmaceutical and perishable applications
• How the RFID test setup for pharmaceuticals was utilized to gather a statistically significant number of data points at each setting, enabling researchers to determine the highest performance operating point given a defined set of physical constraints for any product
9:45 AM—Track Session
Using RFID to Maintain Patient Safety
In the United States alone, more than 100,000 people die each year due to infections acquired during hospital stays. Many of these infections occur because health-care professionals failed to wash well enough. IntelligentM has developed an RFID-enabled solution to encourage workers to thoroughly clean their hands, thereby combating the age-old problem of infection transmission that occurs in medical facilities. IntelligentM's wristband uses RFID to read tags at sanitizing and washing stations. An accelerometer detects how long someone spends cleaning his or her hands, and then issues an alert. One vibration signals adequate washing, while three buzzes indicate additional time should be spent at the sink. RFID tags are also placed outside patients' rooms and on some equipment, enabling the system to alert health-care workers to wash their hands before performing a procedure that carries a high infection risk. Learn how the solution can be utilized to combat hospital-acquired infections.
Seth Freedman, President, intelligentM
• How the system collects data from the bracelets through a micro USB connection at the end of each shift, giving hospital epidemiologists the opportunity to see how each employee is doing
• Future uses, including the possibility that the technology can be expanded beyond health care into food service

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RFID Journal LIVE! 2013 is produced by RFID Journal, the World's RFID Authority.

All conference sessions are subject to change, and RFID Journal reserves the right to alter dates, programs and speakers at any time, as circumstances dictate. Sessions without assigned speakers indicate a target topic; every effort will be made to ensure that a program of equivalent standard and value is available.

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