Flexible Services and Manufacturing Journal

, Volume 28, Issue 4, pp 593–616 | Cite as

RFID analytics for hospital ward management

  • Chun-Hung Cheng
  • Yong-Hong KuoEmail author


In this paper, we present an RFID-enabled platform for hospital ward management. Active RFID tags are attached to individuals and assets in the wards. Active RFID readers communicate with the tags continuously and automatically to keep track of the real-time information about the locations of the tagged objects. The data regarding the locations and other transmitted information are stored in the ward management system. This platform enables capabilities of real-time monitoring and tracking of individuals and assets, reporting of ward statistics, and providing intelligence and analytics for hospital ward management. All of these capabilities benefit hospital ward management by enhanced patient safety, increased operational efficiency and throughput, and mitigation of risk of infectious disease widespread. A prototype developed based on our proposed architecture of the platform was tested in a pilot study, which was conducted in two medical wards of the intensive care unit of one of the largest public general hospitals in Hong Kong. This pilot study demonstrates the feasibility of the implementation of this RFID-enabled platform for practical use in hospital wards. Furthermore, the data collected from the pilot study are used to provide data analytics for hospital ward management.


Big data analytics Real-time tracking and monitoring  Traceability Healthcare management Hospital ward management Infectious disease risk mitigation 



Professor Cheng’s work is substantially supported by a grant from Asian Institute of Supply Chains and Logistics (Project No. 8116027), a grant from PROCORE: France/Hong Kong Joint Research Scheme of Research Grant Council Hong Kong and the Consulate General of France in Hong Kong (Project No. 2900239) and a grant from the Research Grants Council of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, China (Project No. CUHK 14201314). Dr Kuo’s work is partially supported by a grant from Microsoft Research Asia Collaborative Research Fund and a grant from the Research Grants Council of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, China (Project No. CUHK 14202115). The authors are grateful to the Prince of Wales Hospital in Hong Kong for their assistance in this project and also indebted to the editors and the anonymous referees for their valuable comments and suggestions, which have greatly enhanced the quality of this paper.


  1. Aguilar A, van der Putten W, Kirrane, F (2006) Positive patient identification using RFID and wireless networks. In: Proceedings of HISI 11th annual conference and scientific symposiumGoogle Scholar
  2. Al-Masri E, Hamdi M (2015) RFID-based approach for monitoring patients health inside hospitals. In: New trends in networking, computing, E-learning, systems sciences, and engineering, pp 607–613Google Scholar
  3. (2015) Cardiac monitor. Accessed 18 Aug 2015
  4. Angeles R (2005) RFID technologies: supply-chain applications and implementation issues. Inf Syst Manag 22(1):51–65MathSciNetCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. BBC News (2015) South Korea declares de facto end to Mers virus. Accessed 13 Aug 2015
  6. Bendavid Y, Boeck H, Philippe R (2012) RFID-enabled traceability system for consignment and high value products: a case study in the healthcare sector. J Med Syst 36(6):3473–3489CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Chao CC, Yang JM, Jen WY (2007) Determining technology trends and forecasts of RFID by a historical review and bibliometric analysis from 1991 to 2005. Technovation 27(5):268–279CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Chinadaily Asia (2014) To nurse or be nursed? Accessed 18 Aug 2015
  9. Chowdhury B, Khosla R (2007) RFID-based hospital real-time patient management system. In: Proceedings of the 6th IEEE/ACIS international conference on computer and information science, pp 363–368Google Scholar
  10. Coustasse A, Tomblin S, Slack C (2013) Impact of radio-frequency identification (RFID) technologies on the hospital supply chain: a literature review. Perspect Health Inf Manag 10:1d.
  11. Dalton J, Rossini S (2005) Using RFID technologies to reduce blood transfusionerrors. White Paper by Intel Corporation, Autentica, Cisco Systems and San RaffaeleHospitalGoogle Scholar
  12. Dutta A, Whang S (2007) Radiofrequency identification applications in private and public sector operations: introduction to the special issue. Prod Oper Manag 16(5):523–524CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Francis DL, Prabhakar S, Sanderson SO (2009) A quality initiative to decrease pathology specimen-labeling errors using radiofrequency identification in a high-volume endoscopy center. Am J Gastroenterol 104(4):972–975CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Fry EA, Lenert LA (2005) MASCAL: RFID tracking of patients, staff and equipment to enhance hospital response to mass casualty events. In: Proceedings of the 2005 AMIA annual symposium. American Medical Informatics Association, pp 261–265Google Scholar
  15. Fuhrer P, Guinard D (2006) Building a smart hospital using RFID technologies. In: Proceedings of the 1st European conference on eHealthGoogle Scholar
  16. Groves P, Kayyali B, Knott D, Van Kuiken S (2013) The big data revolution in healthcare. McKinsey QuarterlyGoogle Scholar
  17. Hakim H, Renouf R, Enderle J (2006) Passive RFID asset monitoring system in hospital environments. In: Proceedings of the IEEE 32nd annual northeast bioengineering conference, pp 217–218Google Scholar
  18. Health Industry Business Communications Council (2012) Understanding radio frequency identification (RFID) in healthcare: benefits, limitations, and recommendationsGoogle Scholar
  19. Hospital Safety Score (2013) Hospital errors are the third leading cause of death in U.S., and new hospital safety scores show improvements are too slow.
  20. James JT (2013) A new, evidence-based estimate of patient harms associated with hospital care. J Patient Saf 9(3):122–128CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Jones EC, Chung CA (2007) RFID in logistics: a practical introduction. CRC Press, Boca RatonCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Jones P, Clarke-Hill C, Hillier D, Comfort D (2005) The benefits, challenges and impacts of radio frequency identification technology (RFID) for retailers in the UK. Mark Intell Plan 23(4):395–402CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Jovix (2015) Active RFID vs. passive RFID. Accessed 10 Apr 2015
  24. Kayyali B, Knott D, Van Kuiken S (2013) The big-data revolution in US health care: accelerating value and innovation. McKinsey & Company, New York CityGoogle Scholar
  25. Kim SJ, Yoo SK, Kim HO, Bae HS, Park JJ, Seo KJ, Chang BC (2006) Smart blood bag management system in a hospital environment. In: Cuenca P, Orozco-Barbosa L (eds) Personal wireless communications. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 4217, pp 506–517Google Scholar
  26. Kumar A, Rahman S (2014) RFID-enabled process reengineering of closed-loop supply chains in the healthcare industry of Singapore. J Clean Prod 85:382–394CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Liao WP, Lin TM, Liao SH (2011) Contributions to radio frequency identification (RFID) research: an assessment of SCI-, SSCI-indexed papers from 2004 to 2008. Decis Support Syst 50(2):548–556MathSciNetCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Lin CC, Lin PY, Lu PK, Hsieh GY, Lee WL, Lee RG (2008) A healthcare integration system for disease assessment and safety monitoring of dementia patients. IEEE Trans Inf Technol Biomed 12(5):579–586CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Magliulo M, Cella L, Pacelli R (2012) Novel technique radio frequency identification (RFID) based to manage patient flow in a radiotherapy department. In: Proceedings of the 2012 IEEE-EMBS international conference on biomedical and health informatics, pp 972–975Google Scholar
  30. Manyika J, Chui M, Brown B, Bughin J, Dobbs R, Roxburgh C, Byers AH (2011) Big data: the next frontier for innovation, competition, and productivity. McKinsey & Company, New York CityGoogle Scholar
  31. Marchand-Maillet F, Debes C, Garnier F, Dufeu N, Sciard D, Beaussier M (2015) Accuracy of patients turnover time prediction using RFID technology in an academic ambulatory surgery center. J Med Syst 39(2):1–5CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Miller MJ, Ferrin DM, Flynn T, Ashby M, White Jr, KP, Mauer MG (2006) Using RFID technologies to capture simulation data in a hospital emergency department. In: Proceedings of the 2006 winter simulation conference, pp 1365–1371Google Scholar
  33. Moon KL, Ngai EWT (2008) The adoption of RFID in fashion retailing: a business value-added framework. Ind Manag Data Syst 108(5):596–612CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Mun IK, Kantrowitz AB, Carmel PW, Mason KP, Engels DW (2007) Active RFID system augmented with 2D barcode for asset management in a hospital setting. In: Proceedings of the 2007 IEEE international conference on RFID, pp 205–211Google Scholar
  35. Ngai EW (2010) RFID technology and applications in production and supply chain management. Int J Prod Res 48(9):2481–2483MathSciNetCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Ngai E, Riggins F (2008) RFID: technology, applications, and impact on business operations. Int J Prod Econ 112(2):507–509CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Ngai EWT, Moon KK, Riggins FJ, Candace YY (2008) RFID research: an academic literature review (19952005) and future research directions. Int J Prod Econ 112(2):510–520CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Østbye T, Lobach DF, Cheesborough D, Lee AMM, Krause KM, Hasselblad V, Bright D (2003) Evaluation of an infrared/radiofrequency equipment-tracking system in a tertiary care hospital. J Med Syst 27(4):367–380CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Parlak S, Sarcevic A, Marsic I, Burd RS (2012) Introducing RFID technology in dynamic and time-critical medical settings: requirements and challenges. J Biomed Inform 45(5):958–974CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Peiris JSM, Chu CM, Cheng VCC, Chan KS, Hung IFN, Poon LLM, HKU/UCH SARS Study Group (2003) Clinical progression and viral load in a community outbreak of coronavirus-associated SARS pneumonia: a prospective study. The Lancet 361(9371):1767–1772Google Scholar
  41. Pleteršek A, Sok M, Trontelj J (2012) Monitoring, control and diagnostics using RFID infrastructure. J Med Syst 36(6):3733–3739CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Prater E, Frazier GV, Reyes PM (2005) Future impacts of RFID on e-supply chains in grocery retailing. Supply Chain Manag Int J 10(2):134–142CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Reicher J, Reicher D, Reicher M (2007) Use of radio frequency identification (RFID) tags in bedside monitoring of endotracheal tube position. J Clin Monit Comput 21(3):155–158CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Reiner J, Sullivan M (2005) RFID in healthcare: a panacea for the regulations and issues affecting the industry. Healthcare Purchasing NewsGoogle Scholar
  45. Reyes PM, Li S, Visich JK (2012) Accessing antecedents and outcomes of RFID implementation in health care. Int J Prod Econ 136(1):137–150CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Romero A (2014) Improving the logistics operations of the hospital pharmacy using a barcode-RFID identification system. In: Transactions on engineering technologies, pp 733–747Google Scholar
  47. Rosenbaum BP (2014) Radio frequency identification (RFID) in health care: privacy and security concerns limiting adoption. J Med Syst 38(3):1–6CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Sarac A, Absi N, Dauzère-Pérès S (2010) A literature review on the impact of RFID technologies on supply chain management. Int J Prod Econ 128(1):77–95CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. SARS Expert Committee of Hong Kong SAR Government (2003) The SARS epidemicGoogle Scholar
  50. Shirehjini AAN, Yassine A, Shirmohammadi S (2012) Equipment location in hospitals using RFID-based positioning system. IEEE Trans Inf Technol Biomed 16(6):1058–1069CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Tajima M (2007) Strategic value of RFID in supply chain management. J Purch Supply Manag 13(4):261–273CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Wamba SF (2012) RFID-enabled healthcare applications, issues and benefits: an archival analysis (1997–2011). J Med Syst 36(6):3393–3398CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Wamba SF, Anand A, Carter L (2013) A literature review of RFID-enabled healthcare applications and issues. Int J Inf Manag 33(5):875–891CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Wang LC (2008) Enhancing construction quality inspection and management using RFID technology. Autom Constr 17(4):467–479CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. World Health Organization (2004) Summary of probable SARS cases with onset of illness from 1 November 2002 to 31 July 2003Google Scholar
  56. World Health Organization (2013) Health care-associated infections fact sheet. Accessed 17 Oct 2015
  57. Wyld DC, Jones MA, Totten JW (2005) Where is my suitcase? RFID and airline customer service. Mark Intell Plan 23(4):382–394CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Yao W, Chu CH, Li Z (2011) Leveraging complex event processing for smart hospitals using RFID. J Netw Comput Appl 34(3):799–810CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Yao W, Chu CH, Li Z (2012) The adoption and implementation of RFID technologies in healthcare: a literature review. J Med Syst 36(6):3507–3525CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Yen YC, Lo NW, Wu TC (2012) Two RFID-based solutions for secure inpatient medication administration. J Med Syst 36(5):2769–2778CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Young D (2004) FDA embraces RFID to protect drug supply. Am J Health Syst Pharm 61(24):2612–2615Google Scholar
  62. Zhu X, Mukhopadhyay SK, Kurata H (2012) A review of RFID technology and its managerial applications in different industries. J Eng Technol Manag 29(1):152–167CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Systems Engineering and Engineering ManagementThe Chinese University of Hong KongShatinHong Kong
  2. 2.Stanley Ho Big Data Decision Analytics Research CentreThe Chinese University of Hong KongShatinHong Kong

Personalised recommendations