Samsung Medical Center improves health screening workflow by using RFID tags and mobile devices

Cadi Scientific, news release, October 24, 2013:

1.    Introduction

Samsung Medical Center (SMC) is a major healthcare facility in South Korea serving both local and international patients in a wide range of specialities. Established in 1994, it consists of a hospital and a cancer center. It has 2,000 beds and 1,300 doctors, and treats more than 8,000 patients a day. As part of its continuing mission to improve the nation’s health through the best medical service, advanced medical research, and development of outstanding medical personnel, SMC is constantly looking for new emerging technologies to improve the way it delivers healthcare. In 2012, the center embarked on a project to improve its health screening workflow.

2.    The problem

SMC offers health screening packages costing about one million Korean won (about USD1,000) each. Before the project, progress notes related to health screening were recorded on paper by hand and communications between staff members were carried out by passing these handwritten notes from one person to another. The workflow was not optimized and, as a result, sometimes it took more time than necessary to complete the screening.

3.    The solution

SMC deployed a wireless, radio frequency identification (RFID) system developed jointly by Choongwae Information Technology, an information technology leader in Korea‘s healthcare industry, and Cadi Scientific, a Singapore-based healthcare technology company.

Every new patient who registers at the health screening center will be issued an integrated active-passive RFID tag, which the patient will wear throughout the screening process. The patient will also be assigned a locker, which can be locked and unlocked with the RFID tag. As the patient journeys through the screening center, the system will automatically detect the location of the patient and respond accordingly. For example, when the patient enters a waiting area, the system will automatically add the patient to the queue and the wall-mounted information panel at the waiting area will automatically display information about the patient’s progress, such as the expected waiting time, the queue number, and instructions on what to do next. At the same time, the staff at the waiting area will know that the patient has arrived. At any time, the patient can also check his or her progress on a mobile phone by means of a smartphone app, and a staff member can retrieve patient information by scanning the RFID tag with a mobile device. Upon completion of the health screening, the tag will be returned to the screening center.

This RFID system has not only made the health screening workflow more efficient but also enhanced the experience of both patients and staff.
This report was derived from the presentation “Innovation of health check process using active RFID tag and mobile devices” given by Jung Soo Gabriele Bae of Choongwae Information Technology, Korea, on October 24, 2013, at the “Digital Healthcare Week 2013” event held at Marina Bay Sands, Singapore, on October 21–24, 2013.

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