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Hospital RFID'd wristbands store location: what privacy?

Hospital RFID'd wristbands store location: what privacy?
Hospital RFID'd wristbands store location: what privacy?

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Wired Wristbands in Hospitals
Date: Thu, 18 Aug 2005 09:49:51 -0600
From: George Lessard  

Thought your [Politech]  readers might be interested in this...

-- In, "David P. Dillard"  wrote: 

That Wristband May be Wired: Or Where Did Jane Get to This Time

California Hospital Prescribes Electronic Wristbands for Patients
Date:5/19/2005   Source:   Editer:  Clicks: 6
[Perhaps Net-Gold can move these clicks up if we all band together]

Valley Presbyterian Hospital, located in Van Nuys, California will begin
piloting electronically coded wristbands for outpatient surgery patients
this summer. According to the Los Angeles Daily News, the wristbands,
which will store information on a microchip, could help reduce the risk of
medical errors. The pilot program is expected to run several months, with
the possibility of full implementation by 2005. The bands are produced by
Precision Dynamics Corporation. From the LA Daily News:

The information on the wristband is accessed through a small antenna,
using radio frequency identifications technology.


page 58, page 103

Metropolitan Richmond Hospital Diversions: A
Systems Analysis and Change Proposal
University of Virginia Executive Masters
Program, Cohort 2002
May 13, 2002

A shorter URL for the above link:


7.3.1 Bed Tracking System

This alternative proposes to implement an online bed tracking system which
would allow hospitals to maintain a real-time record of available beds.

A bed tracking system has the potential for improving hospital efficiency,
especially within the ED. The ability to track the number of beds open in
each department as well as to forecast bed availability can greatly assist
hospitals in serving their patients. Various aspects of such a system were

These include system boundaries (single or multiple hospital), system
functions, operational policies and specific patient devices.

A bed tracking system could be regional or limited to a single hospital.

Participating institutions would need to develop and implement policies
and procedures for collecting, maintaining, and disseminating bed
information. The system should be monitored by an operator to ensure that
it functions properly. The system would be updated continuously or, if not
possible, periodically every few hours or even minutes. The system would
include a bed availability forecast function.

(The accuracy of this function could be greatly enhanced by creating a
Discharge Unit as discussed in section 7.3.2.) If implemented regionally,
bed availability forecasting would not only enhance the efficiency of the
specific institution, but also the efficiency of the entire EMS and
hospital system. An example of such efficiency is notifying the cleaning
staff of pending bed clearances. This would aid management in maximizing
effectiveness of staffing and scheduling decisions.

Patients could wear devices such as electronic wristbands with a tracking
mechanism. This tracking mechanism would trigger a taken / free notice
about each bed. The mechanism could also track patient information such as
medicine information and dosages. Assumptions
.. Hospital staff would require training in order to use system and make
use of forecasts. Trade-off Analysis
Table 35 identifies the trade-offs associated with this alternative.



Taiwan Struggles With the SARS Virus
Posted on: Thursday, 15 May 2003, 06:00 CDT
Red Nova

The vast majority of the quarantined Taiwanese are in fine health. The
quarantines apply not only to those returning from SARS-infected places
but also to relatives and other close contacts of victims.

Huang Chi-min, an Interior Ministry official, said video surveillance is
better psychologically than electronic wrist bands, which might make some
people feel like criminals under house arrest.

"With video cameras, we can also check if people begin to have fevers or
cough," Huang said.

The cameras cannot check temperatures, but officials believe experienced
health care workers can spot somebody who is frail and feverish just by
looking at the screen.

Quarantine violators are fined $1,700.


The address for this document has changed, but it still can be found at
the Google Scholar HTML version URL which does not allow copy and paste
without problems.

Here is the URL for this document:

A shorter URL for the above link: 

Use edit / find  and search wristbands to find the pertinent content in
this document.


Risk Management in Health Care Institutions: A Strategic Approach
by Robert L Dansby, Florence Kavaler, Allen D Spiegel - Medical - 2003 -
370 pages
Page 305 - ... of Physiological Aging 305 Risks in Caring for Patients
with Dementia Currently,
... Technology such as wristbands and satellite tracking
Page 305

Title Risk Management in Health Care Institutions
Author(s) Robert L Dansby, Florence Kavaler, Allen D Spiegel
Publisher Jones and Bartlett Publishers
Publication Date June 25, 2003
Subject Medical / Nursing
Format Paperback
Pages 370
Dimensions 7.16 x 8.86 x 0.94 in
ISBN 0763723142

Page 305
... of Physiological Aging 305 Risks in Caring for Patients with Dementia
... Technology such as wristbands and satellite tracking. ...


Creating Knowledge-Based Healthcare Organizations
edited by Nilmini Wickramasinghe, Jatinder N D Gupta, Sushil K Sharma
Page 69

Title Creating Knowledge-Based Healthcare Organizations
Editor(s) Nilmini Wickramasinghe, Jatinder N D Gupta, Sushil K Sharma
Publisher Idea Group Inc (IGI)
Publication Date August 2, 2004
Subject Medical / Nursing
Format Hardcover
Pages 368
Dimensions 7.16 x 10.36 x 1.03 in
ISBN 1591404592

Pages 1 - 1 of 1 in book for "wristbands" and patients and tracking. (0.09

Page 69
Clinic was using bar codes on patient wristbands for use in patient
... for a patient tracking system to facilitate hospital bed management.


The complete article may be read at the URL above.

Below are a few articles with content related to this topic.

Howanitz PJ. Renner SW. Walsh MK.
Continuous wristband monitoring over 2 years decreases identification
errors: a College of American Pathologists Q-Tracks Study.
Archives of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine.
126(7):809-15, 2002 Jul.

Magness, Debra C (ASCP); Taylor, Dawn M. MT (ASCP), QPOCTE; Held, Marilyn
Implementation of a Barcode System in Point of Care.
Point of Care: The Journal of Near-Patient Testing & Technology.
2(3):201-204, September 2003.

Renner SW. Howanitz PJ. Bachner P.
Wristband identification error reporting in 712 hospitals.
A College of American Pathologists' Q-Probes study of quality issues in
transfusion practice.
Archives of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine.
117(6):573-7, 1993 Jun.


The last article perhaps underlines a value of electronic monitoring,
could it perhaps reduce errors due to identification errors?  If the
coding on an electronic wristband brought up a photograph of the patient
on a monitor, wrong banding should become instantly obvious.

Google, Google Scholar and Google Print assisted in the finding of some of
the content above.

This lead was simply marvelous:

RFID: Latest News and Resources at Technology Updates... on how
manufacturers are embracing RFID tracking technology, but ... California
Hospital Prescribes Electronic Wristbands for Patients Valley Presbyterian
... - 36k - Supplemental
Result -


RFID News Added on December 31, 1969
No RFID News Added on December 31, 1969

One cannot win them all!!!

David Dillard
Temple University
(215) 204 - 4584
Digital Divide Network
--- End forwarded message ---

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