Small-scale testing of RFID in a hospital setting: RFID as bed trigger.

Joseph Kannry, Susan Emro, Marion Blount, Maria Ebling

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


RFID technology shows significant potential for transforming healthcare, yet few studies assess this potential. Our study measured the effectiveness of using RFID as a bed trigger: a tool to accelerate identification of empty beds. We made a small alteration in the discharge process to associate RFID tags with patients and created an RFID-based system that automatically determined discharge time. For each patient, we evaluated the difference in the discharge times recorded manually by the current process and the RFID-based system. The study was conducted on 86 patients over 2 months in 2 physically separate multi-specialty units. Compared to the preexisting process, the RFID-based system identified empty beds >20 minutes earlier 67% of the time with an average of 25 minutes and median of 9 minutes earlier. Hospital leadership defined an improvement of approximately 10 minutes as significant. With minimal investment, our small-scale study lead hospital leadership to begin planning RFID deployment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)384-388
Number of pages5
JournalAMIA ... Annual Symposium proceedings / AMIA Symposium. AMIA Symposium
StatePublished - 2007


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