Outpatient care facilities serve as an extension to regular hospitals across the U.S. and Canada. Ambulatory surgery is just another name for outpatient care facilities, both surgical and non-surgical procedures are performed at these freestanding centers. In the U.S. outpatient surgery visits to freestanding centers increased threefold from 1996 to 2006 according to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). In 2006, an estimated 57.1 million surgical and nonsurgical procedures were performed at multiple outpatient facilities.
Outpatient facilities include the following categories:
Outpatient care centres specialize in specific areas of medicine like chemotherapy and gastrointestinal care. Facilities are staffed by medical doctors and registered nurses just like in a traditional hospital.
Procedures at outpatient care centres cost less than going to a traditional hospital. Many care centres do not require the patient to stay overnight hence the reason for lower costs. Price wise outpatient care centres are often more inexpensive than hospitals depending on the procedure performed.
Radio frequency identification technology (RFID) is having a major impact on the outpatient care industry. Co-ordinating staff members, patients and security personnel and monitoring equipment and medication have never been easier with the exploration of using RFID.
Reducing client attrition during treatment is a major issue for many outpatient care centres. Higher dropout rates based on client attributes are labeled “red flags” in the industry.
Challenges in Out-Patient Care Centres
The higher costs of the “Affordable Care Act” will end up costing companies more money per employee. With many hospitals running at full capacity outpatient care centers will have to support increasing numbers of patients, while still providing competent care to patients. Applying our RFID PersonnelTracking solution to an outpatient care centre may be a viable solution at expediting client care for large volumes of patients.
Advantages of Outpatient Care Centres
The American Hospital Association’s statistical compilation shows fewer admissions in hospitals but an increase in outpatient visits in 2013. While hospital admissions have been decreasing since 2009, outpatient visits increased 1.2 percent to more than 787 million in 2013.
Correctly identifying patients from admission to discharge with RFID tagging or bracelets prevents patients from receiving the wrong medication. When it comes to documentation incorrectly identifying patient records would result in inaccurate lab diagnostic results. Misdiagnoses and serious medical errors commonly occur in the health care industry. By exploring together ways RFID can work in your environment may decrease clinical errors significantly.
The U.S. Institute of Medicine stated that 98,000 fatalities occur every year due to mistakes some involving prescription medicine. An investigative report called “Dead By Mistake” estimated 200,000 Americans were at risk for losing their lives back in 2009 due to preventable medical errors and hospital infections. RFID technology may be able to prevent the prescribing of the wrong pharmaceutical drugs. Storing a patient’s medical history and ascertaining if a patient is allergic to certain drugs is another advantage to adopting this modern day technology designed for the healthcare system.
Tracking Medical Staff & Patients
RFID technology can be used to track health care staff and patients in real time. Outpatient administrators can locate staff at a moment’s notice.
RFID and Medication
RFID tags attached to a patient’s wrist can by synced with bar coded information on packets of pharmaceutical drugs. Tagging ensures individual patients receive the correct prescribed medication. Our experience with our RFID Asset Tracking solution may be able to be applied to track medication from the pharmacy all the way to the drug being administered to the patient, eliminating any errors along the way.
GAO RFID hardware and software systems collect real time data. Up to date information benefits the Outpatient Care Centre’s bottom line when it comes to saving money on medical products and pharmaceutical drugs. Once we have worked together to explore a solution for your institution, rest assured that it will be capable of integrating with your existing healthcare management system.
Contact us for more information on how we can explore the use of RFID technology at your Outpatient Care Centre together!