Healthcare and nursing home facilities made safe with RFID

Safety and security are two of the most common reasons companies cite for installing RFID-enabled systems. Few applications have such an acute, personal component to safety and security as nursing homes, healthcare, and long-term care facilities.

Many “industrial” applications of RFID tracking systems – personnel tracking, inventory management, parking lot and building access control, product delivery – become personal in residential health-care facilities.

RFID helps nursing homes and healthcare know where people are.

An aging population means more people will move into assisted living communities in the coming years. An important subcommunity with unique needs are memory-care facilities.

One of the greatest risks to people with Alzheimer’s or dementia is wandering off. Once a resident leaves the community’s property, they may board a public bus, walk the streets… any number of high-risk situations. The longer they are away from their home, the further they may get, increasing the danger and the amount of time and resources necessary to recover them.

Preventing memory-care residents from wandering off the property, and doing it in a respectful manner, is a high-priority for these facilities. UHF RFID bracelets or tags on each patient’s clothing can alert staff when a patient has left the building, when they are approaching the perimeter of the property and when they have crossed the property line. This gives facility staff multiple opportunities and detailed information to stop the resident from leaving and keep them safely at home. RFID systems can also help locate residents who may get lost on campus, perhaps having inadvertently entered a staff area or ended up in the wrong room on the wrong floor. 

RFID tags on containers of medicine for nursing home management

RFID can ensure proper medication dosage and delivery.

Simple mistakes are the root cause of many preventable malpractice incidents in the health care industry. Giving patients the wrong medicine, or the wrong dose, or the right dose at the wrong time can have serious consequences for everyone involved. RFID tagging can help ensure the right treatments are delivered at the right time to the right people, even in a large-scale setting like a nursing home or memory care community.

RFID tags are standard in warehouses and storerooms across all industries. They give the staff real-time looks at what is where, and when it comes time to pull a product from the shelf for shipment or delivery, RFID ensures that the right thing comes out of storage and makes its way to the right customer.

RFID tags on each container of medication can be linked to each resident’s personal RFID tag. Before a caregiver delivers a treatment, two quick scans can verify that the medicine matches the person. If anything is off – time, dose, patient or product – the staff member is immediately alerted and can prevent an incident.

Nursing home security and access control systems benefit from the use of RFID.

Just as nursing homes need to ensure their residents do not leave the facility without proper authorization and care, they need to ensure that no one enters the facility who shouldn’t be there.

RFID systems can secure access to staff parking lots and entrances. Each staff member can have a UHF tag in their car to facilitate movement in and out of a secure lot, along with a high-frequency or low-frequency ID tag to enter the building, access pharmaceuticals and move through staff-only areas.

When a resident moves in to the facility, their family members can be given RFID tags so they can visit easily and securely. An RFID parking tag smooths their way into a family or regular visitor lot and then cut down on their check-in time when they arrive at the front door. Doctors or caregivers can even set an alert to let them know the next time a family member visits a particular patient, in case she would like to talk face-to-face with the family member.

Like any other commercial facility, regular contractors and vendors could have their own RFID tags to enter loading and unloading areas. By issuing RFID tags at a very low cost to recurring and vetted visitors, they have an easier experience while additional access controls and security resources can be deployed to less known or unknown guests.

And, of course, through it all facility staff know exactly who is on premises and if they are only where they are supposed to be.

Nursing homes make a personal case for RFID systems.

Nursing homes, assisted living communities and healthcare facilities have unique challenges in managing the flow of people and the delivery of day-to-day care. RFID-enabled personnel, access and inventory tracking systems are an inexpensive and non-intrusive way to enhance the security, healthcare and residential experience in these facilities.

WW&L has developed RFID systems for universities, arenas, commercial properties, healthcare and residential facilities. Drop us a note or call us to talk through how RFID can make things better for your guests, clients or residents.

Access Greatness: RFID Managed Parking Lots

RFID access controls keep vehicles and people moving smoothly in and out of parking lots, improving security, efficiency and customer satisfaction.

RFID parking lot management and access control markets

When was the last time you saw a phone booth, a real working phone booth with a pay phone? Been a while. How about a toll booth on the highway, the kind where cars have to stop to hand money to a person or at least slow down enough to toss some coins into a basket? Maybe a bit more recently, but you still had to think back a bit. Now what about a parking lot attendant booth, the kind that needs to be manned at least during normal business hours if not 24/7; the kind that often has several cars idling in the queue waiting to get in or out; the kind that can’t tell you much more about the status of your parking lot other than the number of cars in the lot?

If you’re reading this blog, you probably work in parking lot management, so you might be able to look out your window and see an example of what we’re talking about. If that’s the case, our next question is: Why?

Active and passive RFID have their place in parking lot management

RFID systems come in passive and active forms. Passive RFID managed parking systems require the reader and the credential to be in close range: when you scan an access badge to enter a building or office or to lift the gate to get in or out of a parking lot, you’re interacting with passive RFID. These systems are less expensive and have less physical infrastructure on both sides than active systems.

Active systems work over a longer range and, therefore, can work at speed. Depending on the strength of the RFID transmitters, active systems can cover a range of up to 300 feet.   

Both have their place in parking lot management, even within the same facility or same lot.

Because of the cost and necessary materials, passive RFID is ideal for deploying at scale. Hangtags and windshield decals are the simplest and most cost-effective solution for employees, students and regular visitors. Their low price reduces the cost to you or the end user for a replacement tag, and the ease with which a lost tag can be deactivated ensures that a misplaced tag doesn’t lead to unauthorized access to your parking lot.

Passive RFID tags are also fully customizable. This allows universities to issue easily recognizable parking tags each semester or school year, while also having the option to “roll over” the existing set of tags. Entertainment venues, museums, amusement parks and other cultural or recreational sites can also design their tags to denote season-pass holders, reserved lot access or high-value donors or sponsors.

Active RFID parking management streamlines vendor and commercial traffic

Of course, employees’ and guests’ cars are not the only vehicles that need access to your parking lot. You have deliveries, vendors, contractors and the rest. For many of these parties and their vehicles, active RFID managed parking is worth the cost.

A small number of commercial vehicles can jam up an access control point faster than the same number of cars. This can impact the traffic flow entering your facility, wastes time and money, and puts more vehicle exhaust into the air around the lot. With active RFID, your regular commercial visitors can trigger the gate control well before they reach the access point. They can then drive right through and go about their business. And, depending on the size of their vehicle, they may particularly appreciate not having to get out or awkwardly reach out the window to scan their credential.

Like with the passive RFID systems, when the active RFID system detects a vehicle’s arrival, instant notifications can be spread to whoever needs to know. The appropriate employees will know that a delivery, vendor or contractor has arrived and they can then be waiting to meet them, again improving efficiency for both sides.

RFID combines gate access control with facility-wide security

RFID managed parking lot access systems are fully customizable in their infrastructure and applications. These systems let you control access not just at the external entrance to your lot, but within any subdivisions of your lot.

One tag can open as many or as few gates as you want. If you have executive or VIP parking, you can have an additional access point for those spaces that allow entry to only the appropriate tag holders. The marginal cost of adding that access point is much lower than it would be if you needed a manned attendant booth. Even without additional personnel on site, RFID systems increase the security of the parking lot. Because the RFID systems control exit as well as entry, a facility’s security staff always have at their fingertips a real-time view of which cars – specifically, whose cars – are where in their lots. No one wants a car to leave the lot with the wrong driver any more than they want the wrong car to enter the lot.

The tracking features are not just for the parking lot managers and security staff. Parking lot RFID systems power the displays drivers see telling them how many parking spots are available on different floors of the garage or in different corners of the lot. Real-time displays can direct drivers to the closest available spot when they arrive, and then to the quickest exit on the way out.

WW&L’s e-commerce solution for parking lot management

RFID systems and parking lot control have become an industry-standard pair. That’s why WW&L has a dedicated e-commerce site for our parking lot management equipment. Whether you need to order the next semester’s worth of hangtags or a full active RFID set-up to support your company’s expansion, WW&L has everything just a few clicks away.

And as always, if you’re not entirely sure what you need or have a few lingering questions about how to streamline your parking lot security and access controls, WW&L is here to answer any questions you have and talk through your project.

Top 5 Benefits of RFID Automatic Parking

Fans don’t enter a venue when they walk through the door: they enter it when they turn onto your property. The first and last attendee experience you control is your parking lot. RFID automatic parking systems benefit your venue’s financial, operational and marketing goals by improving the fan experience, security, revenue and costs. 

 

vehicle parking system using RFID
RFID based automatic car parking system

1. RFID Parking Tags Enable a Seamless Fan Experience

Knowing how important first impressions are for memories of places and events, something as mundane as parking can have an outsize role in a fan’s impression of your facility or event.

RFID parking systems smooth out many of the inefficiencies of venue parking. Attendees with an RFID decal on the window or parking tag on their rearview mirror barely need to slow down as they enter and exit your parking lot. Coming in, they don’t need to stop, press the button and get the ticket. On the way out, they will no longer get stuck behind that one driver who seemingly forgot that he needed to pay, and spends what seems like an eternity digging out his wallet and counting the cash. Better yet, smart parking systems using RFID ensure that no attendee has to worry about being “that guy” themselves – the tag that got them in is the tag that gets them out, seamlessly and efficiently.

This eliminates a common chokepoint and potential source of frustration or negativity as your fans enter and leave your venue. 

Now if only you could do something about the traffic on the roads.

 

2. Collect More Data and do the Right Things With It

A common concern, and sometimes an objection, to any new piece of technology is “What are you going to do with my data?” That’s a valid question, and your answer should be: “Make your experience better.”

When someone enters your parking lot with an RFID tag, you know it. That’s great for security, but it’s also great for hospitality. When fans arrive, you can text them with up-to-date information on promotions or pre-game activities, and direct them to the least crowded entry points. If an arriving driver is a season ticket holder or VIP, the RFID tag lets you know that they are only minutes away. Now you can welcome them with their regular food or drink order waiting for them when they reach their seat.

The smart parking system using RFID data also lets you learn more about your facility’s infrastructure. You may find that certain entrances or exits are being used more than others. This may tell you something you didn’t know about where your fans are coming from and how they move through your venue. And, if you notice long-term trends, it may be the basis for improving the large-scale transportation and parking infrastructure on and around your property.

 

3. RFID Parking Systems Enhance Safety & Security

RFID parking controls mean you always know who is on your property (or at least whose cars are there). After an event, this information can help you determine the appropriate staffing levels as you gradually close up for the night.

Knowing how many cars remain and the identity of the drivers can help you identify possible safety or security incidents, or simply a chance to once again enhance a customer experience: the owners of any cars remaining after a certain amount of time can receive a text checking in to see if they are OK and require any assistance.

In the case of crime, a severe weather event or terrorism, the data provided by an RFID based automatic parking system could be a matter of lives, legal investigations, liability and millions of dollars. Knowing who was on your property and when can enable close cooperation with law enforcement and insurance companies seeking to understand what happened, and whether your venue did everything that you could to meet your duty of care.

4. RFID Tags Can Open New Connections for a Greater ROI

Sports fans and concert attendees like souvenirs. Everyone knows this, but over the last 10 years the move to digital ticketing has cost fans one of the oldest souvenirs in the industry: actual tickets! A ticket would get you into the event, but the real value could come later as that ticket stub became physical proof that you were there for the band’s final concert, for the extra-innings walk-off home run, the historic shut out or the game that people would talk about for years to come.

RFID parking hang tags are both a contactless technical innovation and a physical souvenir for your ticketholders. At the end of the season they may hang their old tags in their office or man cave so they can show their friends that, yes, they were there.

Not only do tags give you a longer-term physical presence with your fans – RFID tags offer that presence to your partners and sponsors as well. Teams and venues can sell space on the parking tag to a sponsor who also wants to be part of each fan’s ongoing experience. The tag can have a QR code for special offers on the sponsor’s website, or the tag itself could be reusable coupon for a local vendor, much like ticket stubs used to be.

Each year or season is an opportunity to use the RFID parking tags to project your property’s brand and partnerships. This opens the door for new revenue streams as well as all the benefits that come from long-term, physical connection points with your fans.

5. Reduced Personnel & Overhead Costs with RFID

Smart parking systems using RFID reduce the number of staff you need on event days. Drivers with RFID parking tags do not need to interact with staff on the way in or out, so the wider the adoption of the system, the fewer parking lot attendants you need. That, in turn, minimizes the need for and expense of parking lot attendant booths.

On the back end, the automatic data collection and cashless payment reduces the amount of administrative work that goes into operating your lot: less manual data entry and analysis, payment processing and inventory management. 

Ready to Learn More About RFID Parking Systems?

WWL, Inc., provides every aspect of RFID parking control systems, from the physical infrastructure to the tags themselves. Visit our RFID based automatic car parking system website for quick, competitive pricing. Or, contact us here to work with one of our experts on a custom solution for your venue, just as we’ve been doing for the last 120 years (not all of them with RFID, of course).