Consulting firm BearingPoint has released a market study where they surveyed over 300 health care folks.

  • Improvement to patient safety was cited as the top benefit for RFID by
    nearly 70 percent of respondents, with improved patient flow and general
    productivity ranking second, each cited by 48 percent of respondents as
    "very important."
  • 80 percent of C-level respondents described RFID technologies as
    important or very important to their business strategies.
  • 30 percent of large organizations (those with annual IT budgets over
    $100 million) have already deployed some RFID technology, compared to
    just 13 percent of smaller organizations.
  • Less than 20 percent of respondents plan to spend more than $250,000 on
    RFID in 2006 and 53 percent plan no spending at all. But nearly 74
    percent anticipate investment in RFID by 2007 and nearly 39 percent
    anticipate spending $250,000 or more on the technology in 2007 and 2008.
  • Large organizations plan to spend considerably more -- between $1
    million to $5 million on RFID in 2007-2008.
  • Cost is a chief barrier to adoption, with 57 percent saying a major
    hurdle is lack of available funding and 46 percent citing the cost of
    RFID tags and readers as a major issue.
  • 60 percent of respondents said they have delayed some RFID activities
    while they wait for industry or government guidance on standards.
The survey, conducted in September and October, also found that RFID
technology is already finding many uses in healthcare organizations,
including medical equipment tracking using real-time location systems;
patient safety systems such as for identification and medication
administration; patient flow management; access control and security;
supply chain systems; and smart shelving.

These findings appear consistent with other survey's showing asset
tracking as the leading RFID application currently adopted by
hospitals. I think the other applications mentioned are just noise. Nor
do I see RFID supplanting bar codes for patient identification or meds
admin. Select patient tracking to improve patient flow and patient
safety should eventually rank as a leading RFID application in
hospitals, right up there with asset tracking.

You can sign up for a webinar on the survey's findings here.

[Hat tip: FierceHealthcare]