Implantation Scenario

RFID has completely changed the work of medical staff in healthcare organizations. In the process of adaptation to this technology, both patients and clinicians came across numerous innovations and concerns. In this case, nurses as an intermediary link between patients and doctors have a lot of difficulties to be overcome.

As for pros, RFID tags have larger storage capacity as compared to UPC barcodes and can identify specific individual items. Electronic Management System was introduced, which allowed reading, storing and transmitting medical history, information about prescribed medications, and meal/medicine scheduling instantaneously. Access to operation rooms, intensive care department, and maternity department is strictly controlled. Injection drug inventory and traceability system in our hospital improved as well.

As for cons, sometimes nurses come across tag collisions, when several transponders simultaneously reflected back a signal. An IT expert was employed to assist in the solution of technical problems and failures of RFID equipment. Another concern was distrust of patients, who considered tags as a threat to their privacy and personal security. Nurses had to explain how information from RFID wristbands is transmitted to EHS and backwards. Implantation of RFID chips is a purely voluntary procedure, and they cannot be used as a tracking device or GPS.

Some groups of patients will immediately benefit from the use of implantable RFID microchips for identifying people with serious chronic diseases needing specific emergency treatments, for infant protection against hospital switching, and for preventing residents of long-term care facilities from roaming of the premises’. Connecticut-based Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center has developed Electronic Medical Report Adaptation Model, which includes a RFID promotion sub-program for high-risk patients. Besides, this program will be helpful in case of vehicle accidents or battlefield injuries when patients are delivered unconscious or severely wounded and their medical history and records are urgently needed.

Due to the adoption of RFID, I got rid of paperwork at a point-of-care. I have quickly mastered EHS and can instantaneously find the necessary medical records and prescriptions. There are no problems with the loss or damage of documents. In my practice, cases of nurses negligence related to incorrect medical prescriptions have significantly reduced. Special application was installed on my smartphone to trace the location of patients, medical instruments, and drugs in the hospital.

The major ethical concern is to prevent violation of patients privacy and disclosure of Personally Identifiable Information. PPI is a term that describes any personal information that can be directly linked to one person, such as a social security number, credit card number etc. In the hospital, there was approved the Code of Ethics, which establishes different degrees of privacy and stipulates preliminary consent for disclosure of health information. Strict security standards shall be developed and applied for patients and employees with identification and access cards, tagging devices and implantable chips because they can be read from distance.

Patients’ rights for privacy are protected by Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, which strictly regulates disclosure of health information collected by different healthcare organizations. Fair Information Practice with options of consent and notice provision is a legal implication of RFID in our hospital. Patients with implantable chips or tagging devices get messages from data holder about data being collected; minimum security measures are taken. Before using a RFID tag, a patient’s consent for disclosure of particular types of data shall be obtained. Besides, patients would be able to look through their personal health information, verify its accuracy, and change it if necessary.

Consequently, usage of RFID technology may bring numerous benefits both for patients and healthcare organizations, but some issues have to be improved. Access to the restricted areas in the hospital shall be strictly controlled. A knowledgeable privacy officer shall be employed to conduct a privacy impact assessment of the hospital management system and develop appropriate security measures. General security measures and video surveillance system shall be improved and continuously monitored. Fair Information Practice shall be introduced.

About the author: Stella Martin is a master in Literature at New York University. She is currently working as one of the best writers at the She also studies male psychology.

Started by Stella Martin at January 14, 2021 - 3:51 AM