The United Arab Emirates Ministry of Health aimed to better track the healthcare assets across their 147 hospitals, health centers, clinics and administrative buildings. Staff audits via barcode scanning were infrequent and time-consuming. Each Ministry facility contains many assets – wheelchairs, diagnostic equipment, pumps, etc. – that need to be located quickly for patients and are often loaned between facilities.
On the advice of OgTech, an Osman Group systems integrator headquartered in Egypt, the Ministry approved one of the Middle East’s largest RFID deployments, ultimately tagging over one million assets across the UAE.
OGTech worked to minimize tasks for Ministry personnel, tying RFID tracking data to facilities’ existing enterprise resource planning system. OGTech’s solution uses passive, handheld RFID readers at each facility to scan an array of RFID tag types suited to the diversity of Ministry assets. A Ministry employee carries the reader from room to room, capturing location information for assets. The mobile readers can be used to find missing assets or identify a piece of equipment, too. Eventually, fixed readers at hospital entrances and exits will read every asset that leaves or returns to the facility, triggering an alarm for unauthorized movement.
Tag selection targeted inconspicuous application to avoid damage while remaining readable from about 16 feet away. Metalcraft’s EU Universal RFID tags were selected for metal assets, reflecting the European frequency and low profile, durable design as well as a decade of partnership between the two firms.
“OGTech always depends on Metalcraft,” said OGTech marketing manager Ahmed Ghallab. “We’ve tested Metalcraft products and used their windshield stickers and on-metal tags for numerous implementations in the region.”
The project is planned to fully launch in the first half of 2020, after nearly two years of phased deployment. Ministry hospitals and clinics are conducting faster and more frequent audits while employees are locating patient care tools faster. RFID now tracks more than health care equipment, too; office furniture, IT equipment and facilities’ mechanical equipment is now tracked to support maintenance.
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