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RFID Technologies in Neonatal Care - page 5 / 8





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THE SOLUTION AT WONJU Physical security is tight at WonJu Hospital. Only medical personnel are allowed access to the neonatal care area—the mother is prohibited. For breast-feeding, for example, the infant must be physically removed from the neonatal care area by hospital personnel and brought to the mother.

HOW THE SYSTEM WORKS Here is how the RFID bracelet program at WonJu Hospital works:

  • When a baby is born, two identical tags are generated based on the mother’s unique hospital identification number by an RFID reader/programmer. One tag is inserted into the mother’s wrist bracelet; the other is inserted into the infant’s ankle bracelet.

The electronic system implemented at WonJu uses a mobile RFID PDA device that checks the baby’s identity, via an ankle bracelet issued at birth, against the mother’s identity, via a wrist bracelet issued at admittance. PDA devices are kept at docking stations, where they are password-protected and can be accessed by staff only. As Figure 6 shows, the PDA screen indicates at each mother-baby scan whether there is a match or not.

Currently, Intel and its project associates are working to integrate EMRs with the hospitals’ main information system. Once that portion of the system is in place, the mother’s information could be downloaded to the RFID tag automatically at check-in. At that time, the mother-baby verification process could be tied into the hospital’s discharge process, so that a mother/baby discharge would be blocked in the case of a mismatch. All mother-baby interactions are verified by the PDA, removing many of the causes of mix-ups.

  • The bracelet is applied to the baby’s ankle before the baby is placed in its bed in neonatal care.

  • Nurses use a PDA device to record the baby’s vital details, as shown in Figure 2, on page 3.

  • All of the baby’s care activities, such as bathing and breast- feeding, are recorded on the PDA, as shown in Figures 3 and 4, on page 3.

  • The family can access this information, including the baby’s photo, through a kiosk outside the care unit.

  • For the mother-baby mix-up prevention system, a PDA RFID reader verifies all mother-baby transactions.

  • At discharge, the PDA RFID reader verifies that mother and baby are a correct match in a final check before the discharge can proceed.

Figure 6. An RFID-reading PDA reads bracelets on both mother and baby, indicating whether there is a match (left) or no match (right). If the system indicates a mismatch, the breast eeding or ultimately the discharge cannot proceed.


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