RFID Systems Beyond the Obstetrics Unit

Officials in emergency departments, rehabilitation units and other parts of a hospital know how to care for agitated patients, who may be a risk to themselves or to others. While these patients represent a small minority, they consume a disproportionate amount of time for medical and security staff and can pose a significant liability risk to the hospital.

Patient wandering is a main concern, and those patients are at risk of serious harm from becoming lost or wandering into traffic. In the emergency department, some may leave against medical advice.

One solution to help manage this group of high-risk patients is the use of RFID technology, the same successful technology that protects newborns from abductions.

In a typical application, each patient requiring protection wears a small RFID tag on the wrist or ankle. These tags send out signals that are picked up by a network of receivers covering the department.

Exits from the department are protected by exit monitors. An alarm is generated if the patient approaches an exit or removes the tag or if signals are lost.

A key difference between the systems used for infants and for adults is the tag.

The adult tag is much more robust and designed to withstand tugging without generating a nuisance alarm. However, if the tag is removed, an alarm is generated.

This RFID technology is well adapted to adult patients because it is designed to provide individual protection. In contrast to general access control measures that affect everyone, and may interfere with the delivery of medical care, these RFID technology efforts are tightly focused on those few patients who really need protection.

About the Author

Steven Elder is senior communications specialist for Stanley Healthcare Solutions.


  • A Break from Routine

    It was three years ago right about now that COVID was bringing the world to its knees. In mid-March of 2020, the president put travel restrictions on all flights in and out of Europe, the NBA suspended its season, and Tom Hanks announced that he’d tested positive for the disease—all in the same night. It was officially a national emergency two days later. Read Now

    • Industry Events
    • ISC West
  • Live From ISC West 2023 Preview

    ISC West 2023 is right around the corner! This year’s trade show is scheduled from March 28–31 at the Venetian Expo in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Campus Security & Life Safety and Security Today staff will be on hand to provide live updates about the security industry’s latest innovations, trends, and products. Read Now

    • Industry Events
    • ISC West
  • Until We Meet Again

    A short three years ago we were all pondering whether to attend any tradeshows all thanks to COVID-19. Sorry to bring that nightmare up again, but it seems that little pandemic is in the rear-view mirror, and it’s time to meet again. Read Now

    • ISC West
  • Cyber Hygiene: What it Looks Like for IoT Devices

    Cyber Hygiene: What it Looks Like for IoT Devices

    For our second pillar about the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) Pillars of Security, we are going to discuss what cyber hygiene looks like for IoT devices. Read Now

Featured Cybersecurity

New Products

  • ABLOY IP54-rated Integrated Dust Cover

    ABLOY IP54-rated Integrated Dust Cover

    One of the things that keep security managers on high alert is the real possibility the security locks used to safeguard their properties may unexpectedly fail due to environmental conditions. 3

  • ComNet NW1 Gen 4

    ComNet NW1 Gen 4

    ComNet, Communication Networks, is announcing the introduction of its Generation 4 line of NetWave® wireless products that offer greater performance and increased stability in applications where throughput and increased bandwidth is increasingly important. 3

  • BIO-key MobileAuth

    BIO-key MobileAuth

    BIO-key International has introduced its new mobile app, BIO-key MobileAuth™ with PalmPositive™ the latest among over sixteen strong authentication factors available for BIO-key's PortalGuard® Identity-as-a-Service (IDaaS) platform. 3