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University Hospital Ljubljana tracks employee work wear with RFID

Use Cases | By PR RFID & Wireless IoT Global | 15 December 2015
The fresh laundry dispenser stations are located at 17 sites within the extensive hospital grounds, and they are all equipped with UHF-technology RFID readers. The fresh laundry dispenser stations are located at 17 sites within the extensive hospital grounds, and they are all equipped with UHF-technology RFID readers. Photo: Universitätsklinikum Ljubljana

In order to optimise and simplify the management of around 12,000 laundry items a day, the University Hospital Ljubljana makes use of RFID

At a time when the need to minimise costs is such a prime consideration within in the healthcare industry, it is essential to make use of IT solutions that improve internal processes. As one of the largest institutions in Slovenia, the University Hospital Ljubljana has responded to this situation and has recently introduced an RFID solution for tracking work wear. The aim was to simplify the issue and return of work wear from and to the laundry service, and at the same time to improve working conditions. The project has been successfully introduced with the help of Slovenian system integrator Špica International.

Mag. Danijela Kralj, Manager, University Hospital Ljubljana, Slovenia, in interview with “RFID im Blick”

Up to 12,000 laundry items per day

Danijela KraljDanijela Kralj The University Hospital Ljubljana is one of the largest institutions in Slovenia and employs approximately 7,700 people. For this large number of employees, up to 12,000 laundry items accumulate per day, including work wear for doctors, nurses and hospital service staff. Processing the garments involves a significant level of labour, because such a large volume of laundry is a challenge to monitor or even track. For this reason, the project “tracking with RFID” was initiated in 2009. The objectives were to optimise the issue and return of laundry, to improve hygiene and transparency as well as to improve working conditions. The RFID system was implemented at the University Hospital Ljubljana with the help of the Slovenian system integrator Špica International.

Automatic logging at issue and return

The dispenser stations for fresh laundry are located at 17 sites within the extensive hospital grounds and are all equipped with UHF-technology RFID readers. The employee at the dispenser station selects either the name or registration number of an employee and assigns it to the issued clothes. The garment, equipped with a sewn-in UHF tag, is logged by the reader at the dispenser station. The garment’s return works in a similar way, but is quite separate from the issue of fresh laundry. When returning dirty laundry, the employee passes it along the RFID reader and then throws it into the trolley. The system provides a detailed overview of the returned laundry items and the type of work wear to the employees in the laundry service station, so it is absolutely clear what garments are in stock.

Better control with clear processes

The clear and accurate logging of laundry is the most important automation measure in IT-based laundry management and it can also be an important monitor for decision-making. The University Hospital Ljubljana can accurately plan their supply of work wear and get a good overview of the costs through the way the reporting tool can log the inventory in such detail. The automation of processes also means that the hospital can prevent any possibility of the supply of work wear running low. The unhygienic task of counting and sorting dirty laundry is eliminated, as well as the time-consuming, paper- based registration of laundry items.

System expansion is planned

Minor difficulties encountered shortly after introducing the RFID technology were quickly resolved. Meanwhile, the staff have become very familiar with the system and have welcomed it. The RFID-based issue and return of employee garments has proven so effective that the hospital wants, in the future, to apply it to the entire hospital laundry. A new University Hospital building, which is currently being built, will also be equipped with RFID.

Successful investment

The introduction of RFID has paid off for the University Hospital Ljubljana. Not only has it improved the working conditions, but it has also automated manual activities that were not always hygienic – such as the counting and sorting of items of dirty laundry. Moreover, the tracking of employee garments brings financial benefits, since the cost for new work wear has already been reduced by five per cent, thanks to the new accurate inventory.

Last modified on Thursday, 12 May 2016 12:42
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