SBIR Phase I: Improving Infection Control Through RFID-Based Patient Tracking
National Science Foundation
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Small Business Information
5004 Lehigh Avenue, College Park, MD, 20740
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
AbstractThis Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project will test the feasibility of improving patient safety in hospitals by reducing medical errors and infection outbreaks through patient tracking using Radio Frequency Identifier (RFID) technology. In light of recent media attention on patient safety and high commercial interest from hospitals in reducing the incidence of nosocomial infections, an RFID patient and infection tracking module integrated into a larger patient safety system has high potential for success. This project has three primary research objectives: 1) to design an RFID network appropriate for accurately tracking patients in a hospital setting; 2) to design a set of reports and visualizations to enable hospital staff to analyze location data produced by this network; and 3) to investigate algorithms for using patient location histories in conjunction with an infection control tool for identifying sources of nosocomial infection outbreaks. Determining the source of infections will allow hospital staff to intervene and prevent further incidents of infection. In Phase II, the results of this research can be integrated into a larger tracking and alert system for both infections and medical errors. The need for higher standards of patient safety and effective infection surveillance in health care facilities is well recognized. Every year billions of dollars and tens of thousands of lives are lost to infections acquired in a health care facility (7, 8). The result of this project is software that will dramatically improve patient safety by integrating with improving its current package's ability to analyze the source of an outbreak. This will enable hospital staff to better address the outbreak and prevent future occurrences, saving lives and money. In addition, the core patient-tracking component can be integrated into other patient safety applications, such as rapid response to patient emergency and automatic patient identification, to reduce medications and procedural errors.
* information listed above is at the time of submission.