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RFID adoption in hospitals: value co-creation in supply chains

Rafael Arce Luisa Andreu Federico Beltrán

Radio frequency identification (RFID) is increasingly being presented as a technology with the potential to improve supply chain performance, but empirical evidence from early adopters is sparse. This project is based on the implementation of RFID technology in hospital services, in order to co-create value between stakeholders by means of improving SCM.

Project implementation in a Spanish hospital. Use of secondary and primary data to analyze the research questions. This study has three phases: 1. Installation of receivers in order to create the necessary technological infrastructure. 2. Establishment of tags for medical products and medicines and also for adverse effects control. 3. Management and introduction of all the systems.

RFID technology
RFID is the most recent prolific technology that provides supply chain collaboration and visibility. Handled properly, RFID technology can result in an evolutionary change incorporating legacy systems with the realtime supply chain management of tomorrow. Extensive literature exist concerning the technical aspects of RFID technology (Yagi et al., 2005), but little is known about the current state of adoption of RFID technology in a supply chain management context (White et al., 2008). This project contributes to both theory and practice, with the aim of a clearer understanding of the RFID role in the management of supply chains.

Integration of RFID effects
This project focuses on how RFID adoption influences three main areas.
RFID  Supply Chain Management Patient safety and adverse effects management Human and product resources management  Value co-creation among hospital stakeholders

RFID in hospital services
This project aims to explain how RFID technology allows value co-creation in the context of hospital services’ supply chains.

Potential benefits
The Institute of Medicine estimates that tens of thousands of deaths and injuries are caused by medical mistakes every year (McGee, 2004). Benefits to the hospital not only include improved supply chain efficiency, but can also translate into saving lives or improving patient outcomes. As hospitals seek to reduce costs, it is important that patient satisfaction is not adversely affected. RFID can improve patient treatment and safety by reducing medical errors, improving the security of medicine and the facility, and improving patient compliance.

Research questions
RQ1: What are the major benefits from RFID use by hospitals? RQ2: Which hospital value chain activities show benefits from using RFID? RQ3: Which healthcare business processes show benefits from using RFID? RQ4: Which processes form the bases to co-create value for the hospital stakeholders?

University of Valencia. Faculty of Economics. Av. Naranjos s/n 46022 Valencia, Spain Centro de Recuperación y Rehabilitación de Levante Hospital. Valencia, Spain