Keeps Your Bundle of Joy Safe and Sound
The day of a baby’s arrival usually goes down as one of the happiest days of people’s lives. We jot down every detail in record books, we save newspaper clippings in time capsules and we get flowers and gifts from friends and family. There is so much emotion involved, but one should not be concerned about the baby’s safety while on the maternity ward. That should be a safe place, right?
Continuing our series on applications used to identify and tracking people with RFID, we look today at how hospital security systems are using RFID to add new lines of defense for infant and pediatric safety tracking. It is becoming commonplace for hospital ID bands to include RFID tags and for readers to be placed near elevators and exits to prevent kidnapping or unauthorized movement within a facility. While such an event may be unthinkable, these systems have prevented numerous abductions since they’ve been in use.
Some hospitals, however, want to have more immediate information when an alarm goes off. For example, which patient triggered the alarm and where were they? What would happen if someone took the band off? One hospital that addressed these weaknesses was Waukesha Memorial Hospital in Wisconsin. It recently upgraded its RFID-based infant and pediatric tracking system to allow hospital staff to instantly identify the specific patients who trigger an alarm through a computer screen as soon as an alarm sounds.
Another more recent example is Sutter Tracy Community Hospital in Tracy, California. Both hospitals use RF Technologies’ Safe Place Infant and Pediatric Security Solution. In addition to the tamper-proof features of its solution, an interesting dimension is the ability to integrate it with the telephone paging systems used in hospitals. RF Technologies dual-frequency RFID tag transmits at 262 kHz to interrogators located in doorways, and at 318 MHz to readers deployed in hallways and other locations. So, for example, if your baby is being taken through the west exit of the maternity ward, hospital staff will know it as soon as the alarm is triggered.
Not that any of this is pleasant to think about, but consider the scenario. As a new parent and patient, wouldn’t it be much better to have the nurse come into your room and say that someone tried to take your daughter but we stopped him at the door rather than the alternative? (As she hands your daughter to you so you can hold her tight). Plus, you’re less likely to file a lawsuit. I bet the hospitals see the immediate ROI from implementing an RFID tracking system.
Having experienced the joy of the birth of my own children, I can’t think of a better use of RFID. After all, the only emotions that should be felt and shared during such a momentous life event are love and happiness. Don’t you think?
[Photo credit: RFTechnologies, Safe Place® - Smart Sense™ Technology]