The health-care industry has taken a more business type approach when it comes to caring for patients. In order for this method to succeed, patient safety and satisfaction must be their number one priority. A way for them to achieve this is to implant a radio-frequency identification device (RFID) on each patient. RFIDs are “smart labels” or “intelligent barcodes” that are used to transfer data from a tag attached to an object or a person (Sewell and Thede, 2010, p. 370). The purpose of RFIDs is automatic identification and tracking. Although this brings many advantages when it comes to patient care, there are issues and concerns to be considered which will be considered within this paper. Advantages
An advantage that comes from implanting an RFID in a patient is improved patient safety. Medical errors are the number one cause of negative patient outcomes in the United States. An RFID system can reduce this by correctly identifying patients to receive the correct procedures and correct medications. In addition, a comprehensive history can be received from a patient with just a scan of their RFID (Kumar, Livermont, and McKewan, 2010). This efficient method saves health team members a lot of time which is very crucial especially in emergency situations. Furthermore, there are instances where there are barriers to communication between patients and care providers. This limits the ability to obtain a thorough or any medical history. This can be a precarious situation because inadvertent medical interventions may be performed which may cause a patient harm. A complete patient history can prevent these mishaps from occurring.
Another advantage of an RFID is its ability to track a patient location (Kumar, Livermont, and McKewan, 2010). This is important in especially in settings such as labor and delivery and geriatrics units. An RFID system implemented in labor and delivery units can help prevent abductions of newborn babies. This is achieved by...
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