HIMSS18: RFID Enables Healthcare Interoperability

Xerafy’s surgical instrument tracking solutions were featured at the recent HIMSS’18 Conference in Las Vegas. Interoperability was a key focus at this year’s event, and RFID and the Internet of Things will play a critical role in enabling these more connected solutions.

Interoperability was a key focus at the HIMSS Annual Conference & Exhibition earlier this month in Las Vegas. This was true in the HIMSS Interoperability Showcase – where vendors exhibited new advances in data exchange – and in presentations by representatives from the Department of Health and Human Services unveiled new efforts to improve access and reduce info blocking.

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Connected Items Identify Themselves (Source: Xerafy)

The Xerafy team was on hand, as well – our surgical instrument tracking solution was featured prominently in the Impinj booth. It’s clear from our experiences at the show and in talking to industry insiders that interoperability is the future of healthcare – and that technologies like the Internet of Things (IoT) and RFID will play a critical role in that future.

impinj booth

Xerafy Surgical Instrument Tracking Solutions at HIMSS’18 (Source: Xerafy)

Data management is a complex challenge in healthcare. Data must be accessible to patients and providers, but also protected under stringent privacy regulations. At the same time, machine learning and artificial intelligence systems have been developed that could tap this data for analytics applications that could potentially improve the quality of care.

For these systems to work, they need access to as much data as they can get; however, most large enterprise systems want to “own” that data for competitive purposes. As health systems get out of the data center business and transition to cloud computing, though, data access should improve.

Interoperability will also make partnerships even more important, as was evident in the education sessions and exhibitor messaging at HIMSS. By strengthening partnerships, healthcare organizations can improve access for providers and patients, while also improving the quality of outcomes.

This level of interoperability will also help ensure the security of patient data. Hospitals face a high level of risk when it comes to data breaches – a single hack could unveil a massive amount of personal information. An integrated approach to data management helps ensure that every device across the organization is protected – this will be especially important as more “smart” medical devices are introduced.

How will RFID and the IoT fit in? Automated data collection can make it easier and faster to get information into these interoperable systems, and do so with increasing accuracy.

Hospitals are already using real-time location systems (RTLS), automated building systems, and logistics management optimization to drive down operating costs.

“Smart Rooms” are being developed for hospitals as well as outside the four-walls to improve the care and safety of patients and seniors. Technologies such as the RAIN RFID systems offered by Xerafy can help improve safety and the patient experience, which can help drive up Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) scores.

RFID can also reduce the administrative burden on physicians and nurses. Doctors still spend twice the amount of time on EHR-related data entry than they do caring for patients. With RAIN RFID, hospitals can introduce automation into many of these processes, which can help provider increase the amount of time they spend with patients. That can have a significant impact on outcomes.

RFID and IoT are technologies that can help bridge the interoperability gap for healthcare providers. Want to learn more? You can explore Xerafy’s healthcare solutions on our website.