Waiting time at National Cancer Centre reduced with RFID system

The new radio-frequency identification (RFID) card that patients carry with them at the National Cancer Centre, part of the new RFID system which has significantly reduced waiting times. ST PHOTO: DESMOND FOO
The new radio-frequency identification (RFID) card that patients carry with them at the National Cancer Centre, part of the new RFID system which has significantly reduced waiting times. ST PHOTO: DESMOND FOO

Waiting times at the National Cancer Centre (NCC) have been significantly reduced with the introduction of a new radio-frequency identification (RFID) system.

After the system was implemented, NCC reported a 16 per cent increase in the number of patients it was able to serve within an hour. The centre typically sees about 130 patients a day.

Under the new system, patients wear an RFID tag, which allows staff to track their location in real time. This enables them to keep track of which chemotherapy recliners and beds are occupied. When the patient drops the tag into a box, the system then signals that the station is free for the next occupant. The new system also allows pharmacy staff to electronically update the status of a patient's drugs, allowing nurses in the chemotherapy unit to immediately see that drugs are ready without having to call the pharmacy.

The system, which started with a trial in 2011, received two bronze awards for the best implementation and most innovative use of RFID in the Hong Kong RFID awards in November this year.