RFID-based Information VIsibility for Hospital Operations: Exploring its Positive Effects using Discrete Event Simulation

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Long queues and wait times often occur at hospitals and affect smooth delivery of health services. To improve hospital operations, prior studies have developed scheduling techniques to minimize patient wait times. However, these studies lack in demonstrating how such techniques respond to real-time information needs of hospitals and efficiently manage wait times. This article presents a multi-method study on the positive impact of providing real-time scheduling information to patients using the RFID technology. Using a simulation methodology, we present a generic scenario, which can be mapped to real-life situations, where patients can select the order of laboratory services. The study shows that information visibility offered by RFID technology results in decreased wait times and improves resource utilization. We also discuss the applicability of the results based on field interviews granted by hospital clinicians and administrators on the perceived barriers and benefits of an RFID system.



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