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Pioneering RFID Project at University Plymouth NHS Trust wins global award

From left to right Mina Hanna (Head of RFID Business Development US at RFiD Discovery), Arron Duddin (Smart Solutions Director at RFiD Discovery), Alex Peters (Medical Device Asset Register Developer at UHP) and Simon Dawkins (Lead RFID Healthcare Consultant at RFiD Discovery).

From left to right Mina Hanna (Head of RFID Business Development US at RFiD Discovery), Arron Duddin (Smart Solutions Director at RFiD Discovery), Alex Peters (Medical Device Asset Register Developer at UHP) and Simon Dawkins (Lead RFID Healthcare Consultant at RFiD Discovery).

A radio frequency identification (RFID) system at University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust (UHP) has won ‘Best Global Implementation in Healthcare’ at the international renowned RFID Journal Awards.

Judges were impressed with how the Trust has implemented the RFID system to track its database of 40,000 medical assets. It is believed to be one of the largest GS1-compliant RFID tracking solutions in the entire NHS.

The RFID track and trace solution which was supplied by RFiD Discovery has led to instrumental change across UHP. This includes helping to improve operational efficiency, cut costs, and further the Trust’s goal to improve patient safety all whilst facing the immense challenges posed by COVID-19. 

Currently UHP is tracking a total of 25,000 medical devices. Once fully implemented, the system will be able to locate and identify up to 50,000 medical devices, 5,000 SDU assets and 10,000 pieces of IT equipment.

Speaking at the award ceremony in Las Vegas, Alex Peters, Medical Device Asset Register Developer at UHP said: “I am so proud to have been a part of this project and to receive the trophy on behalf of University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust alongside our amazing suppliers RFiD Discovery.”

The RFID system implementation began at UHP during the pandemic. Despite the associated challenges it proved its importance early on by helping track and locate devices through the many ward moves and the service relocations that the pandemic caused.

In addition, the system helped manage the thousands of new critical care devices that were purchased, making it easier to manage infection control efforts by effectively monitoring where the devices had been to ensure any devices coming from COVID-19 suspected areas were dealt with appropriately. The success of the implementation has meant the Trust was able to provide better care to patients throughout the pandemic and will continue to do so into the future.

The data provided by the system can be used by management teams to improve workload reporting and planning, and there will be many other results that will serve the Trust long term. It is estimated that the potential cost savings from this project will be £4m per year once utilised fully.

Arron Duddin, Smart Solutions Director at RFiD Discovery added: “We are delighted that UHP were presented with this prestigious award, congratulations to everyone who was involved in the project. The ongoing implementation represents one of the widest uses of RFID technology in a single healthcare organisation and it is not only helping clinical staff and technical staff locate their required devices easily, but also to improve the quality of care for patients.”

The RFID Journal Awards recognise leaders in RFID and foster adoption of tracking technologies by highlighting the best deployments and product offerings. The winners were chosen by an independent panel of judges.

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