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A RFID Specific Participatory Design Approach to Support Design and Implementation of Real-Time Location Systems in the Operating Room.

J Med Syst 2015, vol. 39, issue 1

Information technology, such as real-time location (RTL) systems using Radio Frequency IDentification (RFID) may contribute to overcome patient safety issues and high costs in healthcare. The aim of this work is to study if a RFID specific Participatory Design (PD) approach supports the design and the implementation of RTL systems in the Operating Room (OR). A RFID specific PD approach was used to design and implement two RFID based modules. The Device Module monitors the safety status of OR devices and the Patient Module tracks the patients' locations during their hospital stay. The PD principles 'multidisciplinary team', 'participation users (active involvement)' and 'early adopters' were used to include users from the RFID company, the university and the hospital. The design and implementation process consisted of two 'structured cycles' ('iterations'). The effectiveness of this approach was assessed by the acceptance in terms of level of use, continuity of the project and purchase. The Device Module included eight strategic and twelve tactical actions and the Patient Module included six strategic and twelve tactical actions. Both modules are now used on a daily basis and are purchased by the hospitals for continued use. The RFID specific PD approach was effective in guiding and supporting the design and implementation process of RFID technology in the OR. The multidisciplinary teams and their active participation provided insights in the social and the organizational context of the hospitals making it possible to better fit the technology to the hospitals' (future) needs.

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