RFID hospital trials reach Europe

A German hospital is to tag 1,000 patients in an effort to improve administration and cut clinical errors

Following a trial in a New York hospital, RFID is coming to a hospital in Europe.

The Klinikum Saarbrücken in Germany is launching a trial that will tag 1,000 people in an effort to improve administration and cut clinical errors.

Patients will wear tagged wristbands, which will be scanned by hospital staff using PDAs or tablet PCs connecting to patients' data using a WLAN. The wristband will carry a unique patient code that will tally with the encrypted patient records, giving information on which drugs and what dosages the patients will require.

Patients will also be able to check their own records by scanning their wristbands using information terminals.

Intel, Fujitsu-Siemens and Siemens Business Services will be providing the technology.

RFID has already made its way into healthcare, with the technology used to track drugs, and the US Food and Drug Administration has approved the use of the tags in humans.

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