Application of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) Enhance Operating Room Patients Safety

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Wen-Yen Wang, RN
Department of Nursing, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Keelung City, Taiwan

Learning Objective 1: To lower the number of cases of incorrect identification of patient to zero

Learning Objective 2: To simplify the procedure of patient identification and reduce the time for identification by 70%

Accidents or mistakes coming from surgery are not unusual cases, leading to insecurity or sever damage to patients. Previously, the patient identification was done by checking the tag stuck to patients’ wrists by nurses personally and we found that the cases of incorrectly identifying patients amounted to six due to heavy loading of staff, it took 505 seconds per patient to be identified by staff personally and that alarms or connected messages were still unavailable in our computer system so far as incorrect identification of patients receiving surgery happened. This proposal introducing RFID into the process of identifying patients receiving surgery, combining RFID with current computer system, and setting up a new procedure to identify patients, made the number of cases of incorrect identification of patients become zero surveyed by a simplified process investigating flow chart. We also find that this proposal can reduce the time spent in patient identification by 71%, from 505 seconds to 145 seconds. Our results suggest that application of RFID can not only increase the rate of correct identification of patients and safe medical procedures, but also decrease personal mistakes, and then reaches the goal of assuring security of patients receiving surgery.