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9/7/2010






I
NNOVA
S
OLUTIONS

RADIO FREQUENCY IDEN
TIFICATION
T
ECHNOLOGY
A
PPLICATIONS
R
ECOMMENDATIONS

FOR
UPMC


Innova Solutions

Consultants
:

Mehrzad Kootar

Susheel Khamkar

Tae Sung Park

Xue Shan Tan

Pu Yang

University of Pittsburgh Medical Center

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RFID Solutions for UPMC

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Contents

Executive Summary

................................
................................
................................
................................
.......

6

UPMC Information

................................
................................
................................
................................
........

7

Introduction

................................
................................
................................
................................
..............

7

UPMC Technology Adoption Status

................................
................................
................................
..........

7

Overview of RFID Technology

................................
................................
................................
.......................

9

Introduction

................................
................................
................................
................................
..............

9

RFID System Comp
onents

................................
................................
................................
.........................

9

Active Tags vs Passive Tags

................................
................................
................................
.....................

10

Middleware

................................
................................
................................
................................
.............

11

Frequency

................................
................................
................................
................................
...............

11

RFID Standards

................................
................................
................................
................................
........

11

RFID in Healthcare

................................
................................
................................
................................
......

13

Growth of RFID in the Healthcare Industry
................................
................................
.............................

13

Motivations of Adopting RFID in the Healthcare Industry

................................
................................
......

13

Benefits of adopting RFID in the healthcare industry

................................
................................
.............

14

Alternatives Assessment (RFID vs. Barcode)

................................
................................
...........................

15

Implementation Challenges and Resolutions

................................
................................
.........................

15

Recommended Applications for UPMC

................................
................................
................................
......

16

Portable Patient Information System (PPIS)

................................
................................
...........................

16

Current Situation

................................
................................
................................
................................
.

16

Proposed
Solution (Functionality 1):

................................
................................
................................
..

16

Proposed Solution (Functionality 2):

................................
................................
................................
..

18

Benefits

................................
................................
................................
................................
...............

19

Asset Tracking Management System

................................
................................
................................
......

20

Current Situation

................................
................................
................................
................................
.

20

Proposed Solution

................................
................................
................................
...............................

20

Benefits

................................
................................
................................
................................
...............

22

Inventory Management System
................................
................................
................................
..............

23

Current Situation

................................
................................
................................
................................
.

23

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Proposed Solution

................................
................................
................................
...............................

23

Benefits

................................
................................
................................
................................
...............

24

Anti
-
Counterfeiting RFID System

................................
................................
................................
............

25

Current Situation

................................
................................
................................
................................
.

25

Proposed Solution

................................
................................
................................
...............................

25

Benefits

................................
................................
................................
................................
...............

27

ORLocate RFID
-
enabled System

................................
................................
................................
..............

28

Current Situation

................................
................................
................................
................................
.

28

Proposed Solution

................................
................................
................................
...............................

28

Benefits

................................
................................
................................
................................
...............

32

Blood Bag Management System (BBMS)

................................
................................
................................

33

Current Situation

................................
................................
................................
................................
.

33

Proposed Solution

................................
................................
................................
...............................

33

Benefits

................................
................................
................................
................................
...............

35

Robotic Delivery System

................................
................................
................................
.........................

36

Current Situation:

................................
................................
................................
................................

36

Proposed Solution (Functionality 1):

................................
................................
................................
..

36

Proposed Solution (Functionality 2):

................................
................................
................................
..

38

Benefits

................................
................................
................................
................................
...............

39

Laundry Management System

................................
................................
................................
................

40

Current Situation

................................
................................
................................
................................
.

40

Proposed Solution

................................
................................
................................
...............................

40

Benefits

................................
................................
................................
................................
...............

41

HAIs (Hospital
-
acquired Infections) Prevention through RFID Hand Wash Reminder System

..............

43

Current Situation

................................
................................
................................
................................
.

43

Proposed Solution

................................
................................
................................
...............................

44

Benefits

................................
................................
................................
................................
...............

45

Communicable Disease

Control System

................................
................................
................................
.

46

Current Situation

................................
................................
................................
................................
.

46

Proposed Solution

................................
................................
................................
...............................

46

Benefits

................................
................................
................................
................................
...............

48

Cost Estimates Summary

................................
................................
................................
............................

49

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Portable Patient Information System (PPIS)

................................
................................
...........................

49

Asset Tracking Management System

................................
................................
................................
......

50

Inventory Management System
................................
................................
................................
..............

51

Anti
-
Counterfeiting RFID System

................................
................................
................................
............

52

ORLocate
RFID
-
enabled System

................................
................................
................................
..............

53

Blood Bag Management System (BBMS)

................................
................................
................................

54

Robotic Delivery System

................................
................................
................................
.........................

55

Laundry Management System

................................
................................
................................
................

56

HAIs (Hospital
-
acquired Infections) Prevention through RFID Hand Wash Reminder System

..............

57

Communicable Disease Control System

................................
................................
................................
.

58

General Approximations and Assumptions

................................
................................
............................

58

Deployment Strategy

................................
................................
................................
................................
..

59

Challenges

................................
................................
................................
................................
...............

59

General Deployment Steps

................................
................................
................................
.....................

59

RFID Applications Deployment Plan

................................
................................
................................
.......

60

RFID Applications Deployment Dependency Chart

................................
................................
............

60

RFID Applications Phase Deployment Chart

................................
................................
.......................

61

Deployment Costs

................................
................................
................................
................................
...

62

Application
-
Specific

................................
................................
................................
.............................

62

Phase

Specific

................................
................................
................................
................................
....

63

Appendix

................................
................................
................................
................................
.....................

64

Appendix A
-

Overview of RFID Tag Characteristics

................................
................................
................

64

Appendix B
-

ISO S
tandards

................................
................................
................................
....................

65

Appendix C
-

EPC History and Standards Evolution

................................
................................
................

66

Appendix D
-

The technology behind Medical Robot, Aethon TUG

................................
.......................

67

Appendix E


Cost Estimates

................................
................................
................................
...................

68

Portable Patient Information System (PPIS)

................................
................................
.......................

68

Asset Tracking Management System

................................
................................
................................
..

70

Inventory Management System

................................
................................
................................
..........

72

Anti
-
Counterfeiting
RFID System

................................
................................
................................
........

74

ORLocate RFID
-
enabled System

................................
................................
................................
..........

76

Blood Bag Management System (BBMS)

................................
................................
............................

78

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Robotic Delivery System

................................
................................
................................
.....................

80

Laun
dry Management System

................................
................................
................................
............

82

HAIs (Hospital
-
acquired Infections) Prevention through RFID Hand Wash Reminder System
...........

84

Communicable Disease Control System

................................
................................
.............................

86

Bibliography

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................................
................................
................................
................

88





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Executive Summary

We, the technology consultants of Innova Solutions, seek to provide UPMC,

The
University of Pittsbu
rgh
Medical Center, with strategic and sustainable RFID applications that enable it to provide high quality
healthcare services, remain profitable, and stay competitive.

In order to propose RFID applications that are suitable for a la
rge
-
scale and pervasive company like
UPMC, we started off by thoroughly understanding UPMC’s background, main business operations and
procedures, problems faced, and current technologies and architecture adoption status. After which,
we utilized our exten
sive knowledge and information gathered on the growth and adoption of RFID
technologies, especially in the area of healthcare, and came up with ten well
-
defined and beneficial RFID
applications, that UPMC can deploy over a period of 5 years.

The applicati
ons devised are designed to achieve each the benefits:



Increase Profit (increase revenue and/or cost savings)



Promote Safety



Improve the speed and quality of health care delivery



Comply with FDA regulations

A summary of the RFID applications, associated wi
th benefits that they can respectively bring to UPMC is
as follow:

RFID Applications

Increase
Profit

Promote
Safety

Improve Speed and
Quality of Health
Care Delivery

Comply with
FDA Regulations

Potable Patient Information
System




-

Blood Bag
Management System

-



-

Robotic Delivery System




-

Laundry Management System


-


-

ORLocate RFID
-
enabled System




-

Inventory Management System




-

Asset Tracking Management
System


-


-

HAIs (Hospital
-
acquired
Prevention) through
RFID Hand
Wash Reminder System



-

-

Anti
-
Counterfeiting RFID
System



-


Communicable Disease Control
System

-


-

-

Besides detailing each of the application’s functionalities and processes, the cost estimates for each of
the application, and a strategic deployment plan
within

a time period of 5 years have also been
established
.

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UPMC Information

Introduction

The
University of Pittsbu
rgh Medical Center (UPMC), is a

$8 billion integrated international health
corporation

headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and is one of the foremost health systems in the
United States.

(UPMC, 2010
)
.

It is the first nonprofit health system to fully adopt Sarbanes
-
Oxyley, and the largest employer in
western Pennsylvania, with almost 50,000 employees. As a recognized innovator in information
technology, UPMC was classified
by InformationWeek
as
one of it
s top 10 innovative U.S.
-
based users of
business technology across all industries.

Last but not least, UPMC was repeatedly awarded the
“America’s Best Hospitals” by U.S. News & World Report

due to its medical programs across the world.
(UPMC, 2010
)
.

UPMC h
as three main areas of focus, with the first being the “
UPMC Provider Services Division
”. It
provides a wide range of health care facilities comprising of operates
20 academic, community, and
regional hospitals
,
400 clinical locations
, m
ore than 40 UPMC Ca
ncer Centers
, 5 behavioral health
services hospitals, 50 outpatient and ambulatory locations,
16 retirement and long
-
term care facilities
,
50 hospital and outpatient physical rehabilitation facilities
. This division also works closely with
the
University

of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health
,

to
advance

healthcare quality and efficiency
,

and
to
develop

internationally renowned
medical
programs
. The “
UPMC Insurance Services Division
” serves a
total
1.4 million total
and is nationally recognized by businesses

and industry groups for innovation and
service excellence. Lastly, UPMC operates an “
International a
nd Commercial Services Division” that
enables UPMC to commercialize its
medical and technological expertise by
cultivating

new companies
,
establishing

stra
tegic business relationships with world‘s
renowned

multinational
corporations
, and
expand
ing into the international markets (e.g.
Italy, Irela
nd, the United Kingdom,
Qatar, and Japan
)
.

(UPMC
, 2010
)
.

UPMC Technology Adoption Status

As an early adopter and innovator in using information technology (IT) in the healthcare industry, UPMC
demonstrated through various initiatives that it is possible to attain quality improvement, increased
revenue, and maintain or even reduce healthcare co
sts.
The cornerstone of UPMC’s quality
improvement initiatives is a more tha
n $1.2 billion investment in IT

(UPMC, 2010
)
.
It is an expenditure
that enhances both the organizational efficiency and development of marketable products.

One of the most signifi
cant IT initiatives undertaken by UPMC was the deployment of the “eRecord”, an
electronic health record, across all of UPMC’s hospitals. The project rollout in 2009 incorporated close
to

850 physicians
. The Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, one o
f the first all
-
digital pediatric
hospitals in the United States, is among only 1.5 percent of the nation’s hospitals to use a
comprehensive electronic health record.

(UPMC, 2010
)
.

The other initiative undertaken was the “Electronic Prescribing (eRx)”.
It

is an online system
designed to
minimize

the likelihood of errors

by:

improving communication among the payers, providers, and
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pharmacies, reducing misinterpretation of paper and verbal communication,
a
lerting prescribers to drug
interactions and allergies
,
d
ecreasing delays in dispensing drugs and refilling prescriptions, and
e
ncouraging increased patient compliance.

(UPMC, 2010
)
.

Last but not least, UPMC recently engaged in an innovative joint development effort with dbMotion, to
create one of the largest

models of true interoperability in the healthcare industry. The project involves
integrating 25 previously incompatible electronic clinic systems, so that UPMC is able to

obtain
meaningful, actionable information at the point of care
, regardless of locati
on.
(UPMC, 2010
)
.

The current review of UPMC’s plans indicated that UPMC is currently looking for opportunities to

commercialize its nationally acclaimed information technology
, improve
patient safety

while reducing
costs, and create jobs and new businesses in western Pennsylvania.
(UPMC, 2010
, October 04)
.



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Overview of RFID Technology

Introduction

In year 2003, Wal
-
Mart’s decision to commit itself to the RFID technology boosted the adoption rate and
growth of the technology, across numerous industries. Besides being recognized as
a

revolutionary
technology
in

the

supply chain management, it is also utilized in many manufacturing and retail sectors
to
improve

efficiency
, and to
perform consumer behavio
r analysis.
(
Wang, S.
-
W., Chen, W.
-
H., Ong, C.
-
S.,
Liu, L., & Chuang, Y.
-
W, 2006)

Over the years, the healthcare industry has been exploiting
on technolog
ies

to reduce

its
operation
costs, and to improve patient safety.
It is believed that the healthcare industry will be the next
major
adopter of
the
RFID technology.

RFID Sys
tem Components

A RFID system is defined as “
A combination of RFID technology and computing technology that brings
value to a business or engineering

process.
” It uses wireless radio communication to distinctively
identify tagged objects or humans, and comprises of mainly the following 3 components:


(
Hunt, V. D., Puglia, A., & Puglia, M.,2007)

Tag



A
lso known as a “Transponder





The tag comprise of a

semi
-
conductor chip, an antenna, and
occasionally a battery.




It is basically designed to store
and transmits data to the reader.




Reader



Also known as an “Interrogator
” or “Read/Write Device”.




The reader comprise of an antenna, an RF electronics module, and a control electronics module.
The RF electronics module’s main functionality is to communicate with the RFID tag, and the
controller electronics module’s responsibility is to communicate with

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The four basic functionalities of a reader are:
Read the data contents of an RFID tag
,
Write data
to the tag
,
Relay data to and from the controller
,
Power the tag (in the case of passive tags)
.




However, in the medical field, c
omplex readers
with the following additional

functionalities are
required:

Ensure simultaneous RW communication with numerous tags via the implementation
of anti
-
collision measures, Prevent fraud and unauthorized access to system by authenticating
tags, En
sure data integrity through data encryption
.


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Controller



Also known as a “Host”



A controller is basically a PC or workstation that runs the database and control (commonly
known as “Middleware”) software.




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’s read zone, the interrogator would alert the tag to transmit its stored
data. Tags are able to store many different kinds of
information (e.g. serial numbers, time stamps,
configuration instructions) about the objects they are attached to. Once the tag’s data is received by the
reader
, the information is relayed back to the controller via a standard network interface (e.g. Ether
net
LAN, internet). From then now, the controller is able to use the received information for a variety of
purposes.
(
Hunt, V. D., Puglia, A., & Puglia, M.,2007)

Despite the fact that an RFID system may consist of several
readers

spread across a
hospital

facility or
along an assembly line, all of the
readers

could be networked to a single controller. Likewise, a single
reader

may also communicate with more than one tag, at any one time. In fact, the current state of
RFID technology is able to handle simul
taneous communication at a rate of 1,000 tags per second, with
an

accuracy rate that exceeds 98%.
(
Hunt, V. D., Puglia, A., & Puglia, M.,2007)

Active Tags vs Passive Tags

The

2 main types of RFID tags that are currently deployed

in the market are “A
ctive

tags” and
“Passive
tags”.


Active tags:

Active tag has an embedded internal battery which constantly powers both the RFID
system’s internal processes and RF communication circuitry. The feature allows the
readers

to transmit
very low
-
level signals and th
e tags to reply with high
-
level signals, hence resulting in long read range.
Active tags may also have additional functionalities like a memory sensor and cryptographic module
integrated.
(
Bouet, M., & Pujolle, G. ,2010)

Passive tags: Passive tag, on the

other hand, has no internal power supply, and they basically
backscatter the carrier signal received from the
readers
. As a result, they are smaller in size and cheaper
than active tags. However, they have very limited capabilities.
(
Bouet, M., & Pujolle,

G. ,2010)

Reader

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The table below summaries the differences between active and passive tags

(Bouet, M., & Pujolle, G.
,2010)


Attributes

Passive

Active

Energy Source

RF signals from the reader

Embedded battery

Read Range

<5m

<100m

Frequency

125 kHz, 13.56 MHz,

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MHzⰠH.45 䝈zⰠH.8⁇䡺

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Middleware

The middleware is a critical component of the RFID system that is run by
the controller. Its responsibility
is to conceal the RFID’s management complexity and support integration with the background business
systems. The middleware manages the interrogator, providing mechanism to add and remove them, to
filter and aggregate dat
a, and to define security policies.

(Bouet, M., & Pujolle, G. ,2010)

Frequency

Frequency selection is very much dependent on the specific application’s demand. Low frequency RFID
has lower price and better penetration. However, it has a shorter transmissio
n distance, slower data
transmission rate and larger superficial area of antenna. However, the vantage of high frequency RFID is
contrasted with lower frequency.

(
Kuo, C.
-
H., & Chen, H.
-
G. ,2008)

According to the regulation established by the “Internation
al Telecommunication Union” (UTC), there
are 7 frequency bands of RFID usage. The conventional application in healthcare is 13.56Hz (HF passive
tag) and 900MHz (UHF active/passive tag).

(
Kuo, C.
-
H., & Chen, H.
-
G. ,2008)

To
have
an

overview of RFID Tag Cha
racteristics
, please refer to Appendix A.
(Zimmerman
, T. ,2009)

RFID Standards

To attain RFID devices interoperability and RFID information exchangeability, various standards and
protocols have been devised for different applications. Standards devised may include hardware physics
specification, tag
-
reader air interface specification
, read, reader
-
host command specification, reader
network standards, and data formats. Some essential ones include:

ISO

Standards:
ISO18000 series of standards define RFID air interface operations like the physical
layer electronic characteristics and dat
a link layer for data communication.
(
Su, X., Chu, C.
-
C., Prabhu,
B., & Gadh, R. ,2007, February)

To understand more about the ISO Standards, please refer to Appendix B
.
(
Su, X., Chu, C.
-
C., Prabhu,
B., & Gadh, R. ,2007, February)

Electronic Product Code (
EPC)
: EPC is the fundamental identifier of
Asset
s in the

EPC Network

. It
distinctively identifies objects and facilities tracking of the tagged objects. EPC
-
compliant application
exchange data based on the data structure or coding scheme as defined by th
e EPC standards:

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According to IBM Consulting Services, “EPC can catalog over 1.3 X 10
16

discrete items annually (
about
the number of grains of rice consumed globally each year
)
. (Schmid, F. ,2006, January 26
)



In addition, it is flexible enough to captu
re identific
ation information at any level.

(Schmid, F. ,2006,
January 26
)


In order to be used on large networks and to be easily manipulated and exchanged by software
applications, EPCs are often represented as Uniform Resource Identifiers (URI) (e.g.
urn:epc:id:gid:25.1.12).

To understand the history and evolution of EPC stan
dards, please refer to Appendix C.

(
Su, X., Chu
, C.
-
C.,
Prabhu, B., & Gadh, R. ,2007, February)



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RFID in Healthcare

Growth of RFID in the Healthcare I
ndustry

The overall global RFID market is estimated to have experienced
an
annual growth rate of 45%

(
fro
m
$965 million in 2002,
to $4.6 billion in 2007
)
. RFID technology sales have also grew at a rate of 38%
(from sale of $89 million in 2002
,

to $448.4 million in 2007), with healthcare being the top three fastest
growing market segments. Lastly, according to

a survey conducted by Information Week 500, almost
one
-
fifth of healthcare respondents indicated in that have tested and deployed RFID technology.
(
Wicks, A. M., Visich, J. K., & Li, S. ,2006)

Motivations of
A
dopting RFID in the
H
ealthcare
I
ndustry



Analysis
of the RFID growth and adoption rate in the healthcare industry signifies that if is a RFID
infrastructure is not developed within the hospital, it could be facing an undesirable situation in
which “other industries will impose their standards”.
(
Wicks, A. M., Visich, J. K., & Li, S. ,2006)



Regulatory Pressure: In 2004, The Department of Defense issued warnings that drugs could
become the target of terrorist attack (warnings are based on Interpol warnings about terrorist
involvement in counterfeiti
ng). In response to that, the U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a recommendation that all
pharmaceuticals should implement RFID tagging on all drugs at the unit level by 2007 to track
drugs t
hough the economy to prevent drug counterfeiting and distribution by terrorist or other
criminal groups. To satisfy the FDA requirements for drug tracking within the hospital, hospitals
would need to adopt RFID technologies.
(
Wicks, A. M., Visich, J. K.,
& Li, S. ,2006)



There has been a considerable increase in hardware interoperability due to the facilitation of
emerging RFID standards (e.g. EPCglobal’s Gen 2 spec)

(
Reiner, J., & Sullivan, M. ,2005, June)



Substantial cases of RFID implementation with sign
ificant ROI (return on investments): With
rising healthcare costs being a major concern, many hospitals have decided to adopt RFID
technologies within their hospitals, and have achieved considerable ROI. Examples:
(
Wicks, A.
M., Visich, J. K., & Li, S. ,20
06)

o

In 2003, after implementing a RFID inventory management system, Good Shepherd
Hospital experienced a 10% decrease in annual inventory losses.

o

In Jackson Memorial Hospital, $4 million worth of equipments were unaccounted (e.g.
lost, misplaced, stolen)
for till they implemented a RFID
Asset

tracking system in 2003.

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Benefits of adopting RFID in the healthcare industry


Numerous research and case studies have shown
that RFID technology is able to bring significant
value to the healthcare industry. As indicated in
the diagram, if RFID technology is utilized by both
the healthcare and non
-
healthcare professionals,
potential benefits like paper
-
based documentation
elimi
nation, improved patient’s safety, reduced
medical errors, increased efficiency and
productivity, cost savings and reduced patient
waiting time can be achieved.
(
Lahtela, A. ,2009)



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Alternatives Assessment

(RFID
vs.

Barcode)

RFID is simply one of the te
chnologies under the board category of Automatic Identification and Data
Capture (AIDC) technologies. Other technologies in this category may include barcodes, biometric,
optical character recognition, smarts cards, and voice recognition. RFID

has graduall
y replaced barcodes
in hospitals due to
its superior features as indicated in the comparisons table:
(
Aguilar, A. ,2007)

Barcode Technology

RFID Technology

Barcodes can only be read individually

In cases where a large number of items need to be
counted or

tracked, this poses a challenge

Multiple RFID tags can be read simultaneously

Depending on the technology chosen, an average RFID
scanner can read a few hundred tags at once.

Barcodes information cannot be updated

In a medical scenario, this signifies th
at whenever new
information needs to be include, new barcode labels
e.g. wristbands need to be reprinted

RFID tags allow rewriting

An average RFID tag can handle 100,000 write
operations, and has a 10 years data
-
retention life
-
span

Barcodes requires line
of sight to be read

Barcodes must be visible to be logged


RFID tags does not require line of sight to read/write

RFID tags can be read even when concealed within an
item

Barcodes can only identify the item type

RFID tags are able to identify a specific
item

Barcodes cannot be read if they become dirty or
damaged

RFID tags are able to cope with harsh and dirty
environments

Privacy and Security issues

Although encoded data may be encrypted, there is no
protection to prevent barcode data copying and
decryption using commercial tools.

Privacy and Security issues

RFID
faces the similar privacy and security issues.
However, RFID tags allow more sophiscated

forms of
data protection and encryption than barcode

Barcodes must be manually tracked for item
identification, making human error an issue

RFID tags can be automatically tracked, hence
reducing human efforts and errors

Implementation Challenges and Re
solutions

Costs Concerns
:
According to Angela M. Wicks, an assistance professor in the Management Department
at Bryant University,
“Although

cost is a major impediment to RFID implementation, increased demand
for RFID tags and supporting systems will drive

technology to improve the system and lower associated
costs.”

Moreover, several companies have patented technologies that allow tags to be manufactured at
a lower price. For example
: (
Wicks, A. M., Visich, J. K., & Li, S. ,2006)



Alien Technology
Corporation

designed and

patented a manufacturing and pack
aging process,
purported to greatly reduce RFID tag’
s prices.



Smartcode Corporation

also patented a new technology to produce RFID tags at a cost of 5 to 10
cents per tag.

Electronic Interference
wi
th Medical Instruments
:
Hospitals often have concern
s

that
the RFID wave
might result in an electronic interference with the medical instruments, thus resulting in hazardous
results (e.g. wrong diagnosis). However,
research projects have been conducted to measure whether
RFID wave has any influence on medical instruments (e.g.
Electric

Shock Machines
,
Breath Machines
,
and
IV Pumps
), and the results of the experiments show that there is no obvious influence or
interfe
rence.
(
Wicks, A. M., Visich, J. K., & Li, S. ,2006)

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Recommended Applications for UPMC

Portable Patient Information System (PPIS)

Current Situation

Problem 1:

Patient misidentification is a common predicament faced by many hospitals on a daily basis.
One
of the most direct implications of patient misidentification is medical malpractice/errors, which is a
significant risk to a patient. In fact, it has been reported that m
edication
malpractice/
errors

due to
misidentification has

resulted in an average 7000

deaths each year, and the loss incurred is equivalent
to two billion dollars
.

(
Aguilar, A., Putten, W., & Maguire, G. ,2007
)

In recognition that patients may be
susceptible to these detrimental, preventable threats, hospitals should adopt a suitable rea
l
-
time
patient identification system that can significantly improve their safety.

Currently,
UPMC may be using
barcode to resolve this issue, however, as compared to RFID, it has many restrictions. We’ll discuss
about some of the
significant

impacts that R
FID technology can bring about, as compared to the barcode
technology, in the “Benefits” section.


Problem 2:

In cases where patient with special disease (e.g. Alzheimer disease, amnesia)

get themselves
lost, it often incurs a large amount of time and effort in locating them, and bringing them to safety.

Proposed Solution (Functionality 1):

Description:

To resolve the issue
faced as described

in
“Problem 1”,
a portable real
-
time patient
i
dentification functionality has been incorporated into the PPIS system.

Main Actors:
Medical professionals, patients

System Interaction Diagram
:


The Patient Information Database will be integrated with the existing eRecord database.

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Process Description
:

1.

Passive

RFID
wristband
tags
(temporary),

containing only a
n

unique
number
(security/privacy purpose) is issued to the patient upon registration

2.

As o
nly relevant medical professionals are granted access into the PPIS system
, to access the
system, he/she wou
ld have to login (username/password verification system).

3.

After the system verification, he/she would be able to view the patient’s medical records
summary. Information could include: patient ID, name, current location, drug/food allergies,
blood group, ri
sk status, medication required, exams, and results.

4.

In this solution,
he/she

could

access/update the patient’s record remotely, anytime,
anywhere (within the reading zone) via WiFi connection using mobile devices (e.g. PDA).

5.

To get a more detailed underst
anding of the patient’s condition, reports of exams, historical
medication records can be retrieved from the system.

6.

The system is also designed record all of the operator’s actions


operators are able track
and view information like who has attended to
the patient, what medication or advice has
been given etc.

7.

Once the patient discharges from the hospital, the RFID tag will be
discarded.



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Proposed Solution (Functionality 2):

Description:
To resolve the issue raised earlier “Problem 2”, a patient
tracking functionality has been
incorporated into the PPIS system
.

The difference is simply that the
patient

would be assign an active
RFID wristband tags (
temporary), rather than a passive one.

Main Actors:
Medical professionals,
Special

disease
patients

System Interaction Diagram
:


Process Description:

1.

Active wristband tags (
temporary
) would be assigned to the special patients.

2.

RFID readers would be situated in
strategic places e.g. special patients


rooms
. When patients
wearing the RFID wristbands pas
s by these areas, their location can be tracked and stored in
real
-
time.

3.

Whenever patients walk pass the strategic zones with RFID reader, their information (e.g.
current location, patient ID) will be received and sent to the database.

4.

In cases where a s
pecial patient gets lost, the medical professional could locate their location via
PPIS’s interface.



Medical professionals are also able to retrieve the special patient’s medical condition,
and be able to react
appropriately
, just in case something happen
s.

5.

Action can be

taken (e.g. locate the patient)

6.

In this case, once the patient discharges, the RFID tag will be collected, rewrite, and allocated to
the next special patient.

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Benefits

Increase Profit

Promote Safety

Improve speed and
quality of health ca
re
delivery

Comply with FDA
regulations
regarding RFID in
drug packaging




-



The use of RFID technology,
instead of barcode
, on the identification wristbands:

o


Allows faster response time, especially during emergency. In cases where patients
need to be rushed into operations wards, his/her identity and medical history need
to be retrieved and analyzed immediately. The barcode
-
embedded wristband,
which requires a

line of sight, may become a hindrance, wasting precious time
needed to save the patient, as the patient may be covered with surgical drapes.

o


Improves the quality of health care delivery as RFID can read through bed linens,
and medical professionals can
perform regular checks without disturbing them.

o

Allows medical professional to monitor patient’s conditions more closely as up
-
to
-
date information in real
-
time can now be easily retrieved and updated (the
information on barcodes cannot be changed once pri
nted).



Cases of wrong medication, diagnosis and operations due to misidentification can be now be
reduced/prevented.



Increased efficiency and flexibility: Retrieval and analysis of patient’s condition (real
-
time)
can be done
anywhere (
within reading zones
), anytime.



Cost savings: Hospital no longer need to waste money compensating patients for e.g.
administration of wrong medication, diagnosis.



Patient’s safety is enhanced through the patient tracking facility.



Patients can be treated/saved in the faste
st time possible.



Labor is saved in locating missing patients.



Improvement in safety, speed and quality of health care delivery will ultimately bring about
more demand for UPMC services


higher profit.



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Asset Tracking Management System

Current Situatio
n

In a dynamic hospital environment, high value mobile assets like infusion pumps and wheelchairs are
constantly relocated through the hospital, and hundreds of patients and staff are moving within the
hospital. In such an environment, attaining the precis
e location of the assets, so that retrieval can be
done, is often challenging.

When these assets are misplaced/stolen/lost, several problems arise:



Staff needs to go through an inefficient and tedious process of locating the misplaced asset.




Disruptions
to the hospital operations and medical professionals as assets needed for normal
operations, or even for saving life are not available.



Additional cost needs to be incurred as hospital would need to purchase or rent the asset due to
a lack of availability
, and need to fulfill requests. Assets purchases then are often unutilized or
underutilized.

Proposed Solution

Description:

To resolve the problems faced, the solution would be to adopt an
Asset

Management
System
that is able to track the high value

mobil
e assets (e.g. IV pumps, wheelchairs, pacemakers,
defibrillators, implanted
prostheses and patient monitors
)
in real
-
time, using

through RFID technology
.

Pictorial Illustration of Solution

(
awarepoint, 2010)
:





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Main Actors:

Asset

administrators


System
Integration Diagram
:


Process Description:

1.

High value

mobile
asset
s
are each assigned and
attached
to a
permanent, active
RFID tag.
Information stored in the Assets Management Database may include item RFID number, name,
and current location (as identifie
d by the nearest RFID reader).

2.

The RFID readers will be positioned in strategic locations (e.g. hospital exits, emergency rooms,
major walkways)

3.

Whenever an asset is moved out of a area, attached with a RFID reader, the reader would
capture the item’s tag

information, and send it to the
Asset Management software through
WiFi
, who would then update the database.



The message sent will contain
both the asset and reader’s RFID number.

The system can
then derive the item’s current location (based on the reader
’s location).

4.

If an asset is moved out of the building or an unauthorized location, the system will send an
email/SMS notification to the assets administrator.



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Benefits

Increase Profit

Promote Safety

Improve speed and
quality of health care
delivery

Comply with FDA
regulations
regarding RFID in
drug packaging


-


-



With the implementation of the system, assets purchased can be fully utilized, unnecessary cost
need not be incur on getting ad hoc purchase/rental to fulfill request, and the hospital
staff/patients can be reassured that assets are available whenever requ
ired.



Increased in patient care due to a decrease of patient wait time.



Increased employee satisfaction



Now that the asset’s location can be tracked, inefficient and tedious search (wastage of time
and labor) for the assets are eliminated.



Better control of asset usage.



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Inventory Management System

Current Situation

UPMC currently manages its inventory uses the barcode system. However, the technology is unable to
effectively help locate, and identify expired and low inventory products effe
ctively. Moreover, the
inventory administrator needs to periodically perform manual checks on the products, hence resulting in
inefficiency, human oversight and errors. This inability to monitor its inventory’s status could be
detrimental in that it could
have adverse implications both on the patients (e.g. medication of expired
products) and its operations (e.g. doctor’s inability to provide life
-
saving medication required for an
emergency, as the medication is out of stock).

Proposed Solution

Description:

To resolve the above mentioned issues, we recommend that UPMC adopt

a RFID
-
based
Inventory Management System that allows inventory administrators to accurately monitor supply level,
identify expired products, and track product usage.

Main Actors:

Inventor
y
Administrators

Process Flow
Diagram:

Process Description:

1.

Upon receiving the deliveries, passive RFID tags are attached to each item. Product information
is then captured from the item’s barcode and assigned to the system’s RFID tag. The information
sto
red will be utilized for real
-
time inventory tracking and management.

2.

RFID readers attached to the smart cabinets would track the individual item’s unique RFID tag
number and record its status.

RFID tags are placed

Incoming
Supplies

2.
Store

The information is saved into the database for
real
-
time medical items tracking.

Information is saved
into the database

Using RFID, readers
track the individual
tags on each item and
report on its status.

Inventory
Database

3.
Pick

When
r
emoving
products, inventory
management system
automatically tracks the
status

1. Tag

Deliver

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Readers would perform periodic reads to ensure that all items placed removed from the
cabinet are tracked and recorded.

3.

As items are removed from the smart cabinet, the system automatically tracks and update the
item’s status



In cases where the inventory
reduces to an indicated level, the system would send an email
notification to the inventory administrator.



With the inventory management system, inventory administrators could
conveniently
gain real
-
time access to the inventory’
s information.



Once the it
em has been used completely, the RFID tag will be discarded together with the item.

Benefits

Increase Profit

Promote Safety

Improve speed and
quality of health care
delivery

Comply with FDA
regulations
regarding RFID in
drug packaging




-




Improved

inventory management: Once the inventory levels are monitored be in real
-
time, low
inventory can be replenished immediately.



Patient’s safety: With the system’s implementation, patients would not be given expired
medication.



Cost Savings: Through close
monitoring of the inventory levels and status, administrators could
prevent ad hoc orders and engage more in bulk orders (more economical).



Intended items are now located easily.



Disruptions due to the inability to satisfy items’ request to hospital opera
tions and medical
professionals are eliminated.



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Anti
-
Counterfeiting

RFID System

Current Situation

Over the years, counterfeit drugs (
fake or substandard medicine that may be contaminated or contain
wrong or no active ingredient
) has become a global publ
ic health crisis that is of great challenge to
governments and healthcare institutes. According to a survey conducted on counterfeit drug’s growth
trends, it is estimated that 15% of all drugs sold are fake, and in certain parts of Arica and Asia, the
figu
re can reach as high as 50%. In addition, FDA also estimates that
nearly 10% of the global medicine
markets
are

selling
fake drugs
.
Last but not least, the number of possible counterfeit drugs
investigations conducted by FDA has increased from about five p
er year in the 1990s to more than 20
per year since 2000
.
(
Cockburn, R., Newton, P. N., Agyarko, E. K., Akunyili, D., & White, N. J. ,2005,
March 14
)


The pressing issue of anti
-
counterfeit drugs has to resolve immediately as it can have sever implications
on a patient’s health. For example,
The Food and Drug Administration

reported that, in 2008, 95 deaths
were caused by counterfeit drugs containing tai
nted heparin,
a blood
-
thinning medicine believed to be
contaminated
. (
Research, A. E. ,2009, June 10
)

To resolve this issue, the corporation of all supply chain members, together with the advancement of
RFID technology is required.

Proposed Solution

Descr
iption
:

Assumption: Manufacturers would have assigned and attached a RFID tag to each of the drug items due
to the FDA regulation.

On the side of the hospital, to resolve the issue of drug anti
-
counterfeiting, we propose that UPMC
adopts a RFID technolog
y system to verify the authenticity of the drugs item upon delivery, and before
prescription to the patients. The tracking process of drug items from the point of manufacture to the
point of dispensing would provide the whole drug supply chain an electroni
c pedigree through the
whole drug supply chain.

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Main Actors:

Manufacturer, Inventory

administrator,

medical professional

Process Flow Diagram
:


Process Description
:



Before the ordered drug items are delivered to UPMC, manufacturers would assign and
attached a RFID tag to each of the drug item. (FDA regulation).



Assumption: Drug items are packaged in boxes, and each item has an integrity seal.

2.

Upon arrival at UPMC, each drug pallet, case, package and item’s RFID number would be
retrieved by UPMC’s R
FID reader, and authenticated against the manufacturer’s database via
web.

3.

The quantity of drug items (number of items scanned
vs.

number of items delivered as indicated
on the order) delivered would also be verify, so as to ensure that all drug items has
a RFID tag
attached. This is to ensure that no counterfeit drug items (no RFID tags attached) are swopped
with the authentic drug items before the arrival of the delivery.

4.

With successful authentication of the deliveries, the drugs items’ information woul
d be stored
into UPMC’s drug inventory database.

5.

Right before the drug is prescribed to the patient, medical professional need to verify the drug
item’s authenticity, based on both the RFID reader verification against the UPMC’s drug
inventory database, an
d the item’s seal integrity. This is to ensure that no drugs are swopped by
staff/patients who attempts to replace the drug items stolen.

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In this case, regardless of whether the whole drug bottle or the pills/liquid within the
drug bottle has/have been st
olen and replaced, it can be detected.

6.

The verified medication is then prescribed to the patient.



Before this step, the medical professional would verify the patient’s identity and
medication required using PPIS, so as to ensure that the right medicine
is prescribed to
the right person.

7.

Once the drugs are used, the RFID tag will be discarded, together with the drug packaging.

Benefits

Increase Profit

Promote Safety

Improve speed and
quality of health care
delivery

Comply with FDA
regulations
regarding
RFID in
drug packaging



-




Cost Savings: Hospital would no longer waste money on purchasing goods that are not
authentic.



Increased safety: Patients can be reassured that medication given are authentic and safe.



Increased supply chain accountability: The source of counterfeit goods can be more easily
traced.



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ORLocate RFID
-
enabled System

Current Situation

The Operating Room often experiences
equipments and materials being misplaced either
in the patient undergoi
ng surgery or in waste
containers.
To ensure that no items are misplaced
or missing, two nurses are often assigned the
manual time
-
consuming task of
counting sponges
and instruments before and after the surgery.

Even with that that extra effort to check, items still
go missing occasionally. In cases where the staff
decides that an item is lost in the midst of the
surgery, they must visually locate the missing item
before the surgery. The problems faced in this
sc
enario not only involve arduous effort and
increased patient’s risk; it also resulted in a
significant cost increase for the hospital as “
"it
costs $150 to $400 per minute to run an OR
”.
(
Swedberg, C. ,2010, August 27
)



Proposed Solution

Description
:
To monitor and prevent the loss of
the surgical
equipments and materials

in the
surgical rooms, we propose that UPMC adopts a
RFID system named, ORLocate.

According to the vendor, Haldor Advanced
Technologies, “T
he solution not only promises to
increase s
afety in the surgical room, it also reduces
the chances of shrinkage

by identifying when an
instrument is missing from its tray, and by enabling
an RFID
-
based search for that item. The system
also saves staff members time otherwise spent in
the arduous pro
cess of counting instruments and
sponges prior to surgery, and again after a patient
is closed up.


(
Swedberg, C. ,2010, August 27
)



System Components
:

The system comprise of multiple components (
ORLocate, 2010)
:



ORLocate RFID Tags: ORLocate System wil
l include the RFID tags for the instruments. The tags
chosen are high frequency passive tags, which can sustain at least 1,000 sterilization procedures.
The tags have been proven to read well in environments
containing large quantities of metal
and liquids

(
e.g.

surgical rooms)

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ORLocate console
: The console is a
19
-
inch touch screen,

displaying information of items
present, along with their status. The information is managed and displayed using a
Sterile
Processing and Distribution (SPD) software



Sponge
tray: The sponge tray with attached with an RFID antenna and reader for sterilized
sponges



Sponge bucket: The sponge bucker also

has a

reader and an antenna

attached. It is basically

used to count soiled sponges



RFID
-
enabled “Back Tray”: A RFID
-
enabled “Ba
ck Tray” is designed for holding
hemostats and
other surgical instruments fitted with tags
. It is often located on the surgical setup table where
hospital's trays of instruments are stored in preparation for use
.



RFID
-
enabled
“Mayo T
ray
”: The
RFID
-
enabled

“Mayo T
ray
” is used to
detect
instruments placed
on the Mayo stand as they await surgical use
.



Handheld reader (Locator): A handheld reader, named Locator, is utilized to
pinpoint missing
items
.



D
esktop reader
: A desktop reader is
dedicated to the sterili
zation pr
ocedure, where
each tag's
ID number

is read and stored

as instruments are sterilized following a surgical procedure.




RFID antennas
: RFID antennas are devised to identify when new sponges or tools are added
during surgery. It is often located on the console’s upper panel, near the Mayo tray.

Pictures i
llustration examples (
ORLocate, 2010
):





ORLocate RFID Tags

ORLocate Console

Back Tray

Mayo Tray





Sponge Tray

Sponge Bucket

Locator

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ORLocate C
onsole

Typical Interface Flow
(
ORLocate, 2010)
:
Main Actors
:
Surgical room medical professionals

Process
Description
:

1.

ORLocate's staff will attach the

self
-
manufactured RFID tags to the
instruments and sponges
,
and enter data (e.g. instrument size and style) about each surgical item into the SPD software
(to create record of the unique item). Trays with items

stored will also be fitted with an RFID tag,
and the
unique
RFID
number

of the tray would be linked to the instruments or sponges’ RFID
number.


2.

In cases where a surgery is scheduled the following day, medical professionals would pull the
necessary trays
of surgical items, each probably containing hundred items.



Although some small items might not be tagged, they are still listed in the SPD software
system and are linked to each, hence allowing the relevant medical professionals to
view what the items in
the specific tray are.

3.

As the tray and it’s items are placed on the ORLocate back and Mayo trays, the corresponding
RFID reader would capture each item’s RFID number, and sends the information(via a cabled
connection) to the SPD software.

ORLocate console (loaded with the
Sterile Processing and
Distribution software) is used to display information of items
present, along with their status.

The application keeps track of every instrument and sponge
used during procedure and constantly displays the current
system status


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4.

SPD would the
n display the status of each tool, indicating whether the item is on the back or
Mayo tray.

5.

ORLocate would also track the tagged sponges as they are placed on the
sterilized sponge tray
.

6.

Whenever a tagged item is removed for use, the reader would cease t
o read the item’s RFID tag,
and update the item’s status to be in use (displayed on the interface).



A

tag needs to be within 45 centimeters (17.7 inches) of a tray in order to be read

7.

Once the used item is returned to the tray, its status would again be u
pdated.

8.

Whenever a soiled sponge is used and placed into the sponge bucket, the RFID reader attached
to the bucket would read the soiled sponge’s RFID number and update its status to “used”.

9.

All items too small to be tagged must be manually counted both
before and after the operation.
In this case, the data would be manually entered by a nurse into the SPD software.

10.

When the surgical procedure ends, a nurse would push the “End Surgery” tab on the ORLocate’s
SPD software

11.

The software would then determine
if tagged items are accounted for.



A reminder to manually count all untagged items would also be shown to the nurse.



If any tagged item is found to be unaccounted for, an alert would be flashed on the
screen, and a warning sound would emit.



A staff woul
d then utilize the Locator by waving it over the patient or waste containers.

12.

Once a surgical operation has complete, SPD would record the surgical operation as completed.



SPD would not record the surgical operation as closed if any items are missing. In
stead,
a report indicating item/s lost would be created for reference.



If any tagged items are lost during sterilization, an alert and report would be created.



SPD would also track the tagged items’ number of uses and sterilizations status


Hospital wou
ld
then know when an item needs to be changes or due for maintenance.



If a tagged item did not operate
satisfactorily

during the surgery, a module in SPD would allow
the medical employees to record the item’s RFID number using the handheld reader, and inp
ut
the issues faced. After which, till the software indicates that the problem has been resolve, SPD
would ensure that the tool is never used.



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Benefits

Increase Profit

Promote Safety

Improve speed and
quality of health care
delivery

Comply with FDA
regulations
regarding RFID in
drug packaging




-




Safety: As ORLocate are able to reduce/prevent counting errors and post
-
operative
complications, patients no longer need to go through unnecessary X
-
rays or
prolonged
anesthesia
.



Medical professional’s physical and mental stress of counting and ensuring that no items are
lost, are now eliminated.



Efficiency: The arduous and complex counting and tracking of items and their uses are now
performed by ORLocate.



Cost Savings: The impl
ementation of ORLocate would eliminate costly surgical room delays due
to manual items tracking and counting, and missing instruments.



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Blood Bag Management System (BBMS)

Current Situation

Problem 1:

Medical professionals are inefficient in locating the
right blood
,

in
a

full blood bank, each

with different specifications

-

“especially when barcodes have to be scanned manually

in a
-
35 degrees
deep freezer”

(
Aifos

,2010, July 14)
.

Moreover, as blood bags would often have to be unpacked for
barcode readings (e.g. when receiving stock, when locating requested blood), plasma is put into
jeopardy of thawing (resulting in bad quality blood, which could potentially be transfused to a pat
ient or
discarded).

Problem 2:
Firstly, we need to understand that “the temperature of the blood is the most important
environmental information to deciding whether the blood is suitable for use in a transfusion”

(
Kim, S.
-
J.,
Yoo, S. K., Kim, H.
-
O., Bae,
H.
-
S., P
ark, J.
-
J., Seo, K.
-
J., et al. ,
2006)
.

Currently, all blood bags temperature
tracking (e.g. Blood bank room, refrigerators, blood bags) and delivery are done manually. This resulted
in unnecessary labor, and the inability to monitor blood bag’s qua
lity to ensure proper transfusion.

Proposed Solution

Description:

To resolve the
problems

faced in the current state, we suggest that

a
Blood Bag
M
anagement System
be deployed to locate blood bags easily, ensure efficient delivery of blood bags,
and to ens
ure the quality of blood during storage, delivery, and before transfusion.

Pre
-
conditions:
The blood bag management system requires constructing another system (includes both
hardware and software)

named Blood delivery Tracking System. This system is desi
gned increase
delivery efficiency and ensure blood quality by tracking the blood status (location and temperature) in
real
-
time. The system consists mainly of a host computer, container, and operators (medical
professional sending and receiving blood bags)
. Information (e.g. blood details, location, temperature)
of the blood bag being delivered would be read by RFID readers situated along the delivery route, and
stored into the blood database in real
-
time.

Main Actors:
Blood bank medical professional, medi
cal professional initiating/performing blood
transfusion, patients having blood transfusion








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System Interaction Diagram:

Blood
Database
eRecord
Database
UPMC Blood Bank Room
RFID Reader
RFID Sensor Tag
attached to room
RFID Sensor Tag
attached to
refrigerators
RFID Sensor Tag
attached to blood
bags
Blood bags received are
tagged with RFID and stored
in refrigerators
Delivery of blood bags
to UPMC blood bank
Blood Bank Medical
Professional
(with PDA)
-
Delivery box contains blood bag (with
RFID senor tag attached) requested.
-
-
System would compute the shortest
delivery route
-
-
RFID readers are placed along the
delivery routes so that blood bag’s
location and quality (temperature) can
be tracked and reported in real
-
time
Data
Data
Blood Bag RFID Reader
Blood Bag Delivery Box
Blood Location Delivery Tracking System
Host Computer
Host Computer
Data/SMS
Data/SMS
Data
Data
Data
Data
Data
Data
Blood Transfusion Room
Blood Transfusion
-
Uses Portable Patient Information
Management System’s interface to verify
patient and blood type
-
Uses Blood Bag Management System’s
interface to track blood bag location, quality,
blood details.
-
-
Patient/Blood reader is attached to PDA
RFID Patient
Wristband
RFID sensor tags
attached
Medical Professional
(with PDA)
Data
Data

Process Description

(
Blood Bank Management
)
:

1.

Construct the

“Blood Location Delivery Tracking
System”.

2.

Attach passive, permanent RFID sensor tags to the refrigerator and UPMC blood bank room
respectively. After which, all bloods delivered to UPMC blood bank would be tagged with an
active, disposable RFID
-
sensor tag immediately (under the right room

temperature).

3.

Tagged blood bags are stored into refrigerators.

4.

Temperatures of the UPMC blood bank room, refrigerators are constantly being monitored

(by
the RFID readers)

and stored into the blood database.

5.

In cases where an inappropriate temperature
occurs, a SMS notification would be sent to the
blood bank medical professional, who would then conduct an investigation by visiting the blood
bank, and using the BBMS system’s interface, designed especially for her.



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Process Description (
Blood Transfusi
on Request
):

1.

When blood is requested for transfusion, the blood bank medical professional would locate
the requested blood bag using her PDA.

2.

After locating the intended
blood

bag, he/s
he would
save

the blood bag information
collected during storage and
programs the tag to measure the blood bag temperature until
it is received by the medical professional waiting to receive the sample.

3.

T
he blood bag

would be put

into the Blood Delivery Tracking System‘s(BDTS) delivery
container for delivery.

4.

As the blood
bag is being transported to its intended location, blood bag RFID
readers

situated along the delivery route would collect its status (location, temperature), and store
it into the blood database


for tracking by the blood bank professional and medical
pro
fessional performing blood transfusion.

5.

In cases where the blood bag’s temperature changes along the way (interruption), a SMS
notification would be sent to all relevant medical professionals.

Process Description (Blood Bag and Patient Information Validat
ion)
:

1.

Upon arrival, the medical professional performing the blood transfusion would verify the
patient and blood status using her PDA RFID reader.

2.

If all validation succeeds, blood transfusion would proceed.

3.

RFID tags attached to the blood bag would then be
discarded

(status would be updated in
blood database).

Benefits

Increase Profit

Promote Safety

Improve speed and
quality of health care
delivery

Comply with FDA
regulations
regarding RFID in
drug
packaging

-



-



Blood quality (significantly based on temperature) can be constantly monitored in an automatic
manner
.



Blood bags can be located in an efficient manner
.



Blood bags can now be delivered in a safe and efficient manner.



Medical professionals can ensure that good quality, matching blood is being transfused.



Blood bags collected need not be wasted due to improper management.



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Robotic Delivery System

Current Situation:

Precondition:
Proposed “
Asse
t Management System

Imple
mented
.

Problem 1:
Despite implementing the “
Asset

Management System”,
labor

and time effort is still
required to retrieve

the misplaced
assets identified by the Asse
t Management System.

Problem 2:
UPMC

has a department named, Central Supply Department, and one of them main
responsibilities is to deliver the items like IV pumps, medical equipments and supplies to medical
professionals making the request. On a typical day, the department would perform an
average of 60
hand deliveries to seven nursing units, and the Supply technicians would then spend an average of 9
hours per day, simply making deliveries of these items. The immediate problem faced here is that the
medical professionals requesting for the
deliveries is experiencing slow deliveries, which might have an
adverse effects on patient’s health in cases of emergencies. In addition, when numerous deliveries is
requested during the night shifts, where staffing is at its minimum, Supply technicians ha
ve a hard time
keeping up with their responsibilities.

Proposed Solution (Functionality 1):

Description:
In accordance issues mentioned in “Problem 1”, we propose that UPMC utilize a robot
named
“TUG”
,
where

one of its main responsibility (functionality p
rogrammed) is to help locate the
specific location of the misplaced item and retri
eved them back to the e.g. asse
t management room.
In
this scenario, all RFID tags used are permanent, active tags. Following are some pictures of Aethon TUG.

(
Aethon
, 2008
)





To understand the technology behind TUG, such as “How does TUG know where it's going?”, “How does
TUG avoid people and other obstacles?”, and “How does TUG handle elevators and doors?


please refer
to Appendix D.
(
Aethon. ,2008)

Line of Operation of an Aethon.

Picture of
Aethon
TUG

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Main Actors:

Robot,
Asset

Management Department professionals,
Asset

Management System

System Integration Diagram


Process Description

1.

Whenever a misplac
ed item is

detected by the Asse
t Management System, a request containing
information like misplaced item RFID ID, zone detected and delivery destination would be sent
to the Robot Management System, which would then eventually send the instructions to TUG.

2.

During
delivery (misplaced items yet to be found): RFID reader positioned in strategic hospital
locations like (e.g. supply retrieval room, operation room, main pathways) would constantly
track the location of TUG, and report it back to the Robot Management Syste
m.

3.

TUG would proceed to locate the misplaced items (based on the information given).
TUG ‘s
antenna continuously reads the tags that are on the

misplaced

assets and determines the
location of the asset with relation to itself .The TUG takes multiple readin
gs as it moves to “
triangulate” on the tag’s signal and determines the location with high accuracy.

4.

Once the misplaced items are found, TUG would retrieve the items

automatically
, store it within
him, and proceed to the intended destination.

5.

Once TUG ar
rives at the indicated destination (with misplaced items), TUG’s RFID reader and the
items’ reader would detect their arrival, and notify the robot management system of the
successful delivery.

Picture of
Aethon
TUG

Aethon TUG (Robot)

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6.

In cases where a delivery is not made within a specific tim
e estimate (computed by Robot
Management System), a SMS notification would be sent to the Robot administrator’s PDA, who
can then investigate the delivery failure.

Proposed Solution (Functionality 2):