ADOPTION POSSIBILITIES AND USE OF RFID IN NIGERIA HEALTH SECTOR

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ABSTRACT

RFID technology has become one of the technologies that have gained popularity in different nations and industries in the global economy with impart on supply chain and logistics, education, production, security and protocol; hospitality and tourism; military and health. It has transcended identification and tracking with rudiment barcoding to become a first aid collaborative health gadget that has made health care delivery cum patients’ information transfer correct, faster and accessible through its sophisticated communication frequency device. RFID, even though at an infantile stage of adoption in virtually all industries in Nigeria, the tremendous benefits accruable to the country’s human capacity building and development through the RFID adoption in Health sector will last till the extinction or alternative.

The research study has served to investigate the inherent complexities within the Nigeria health sector’s adoption perspective. It employed semi-structured interview method to find out the nature and causes of adoption of RFID in Nigeria health care delivery sector. The author carried out the research instruments on four hospitals (two private and two public or government managed hospitals).

The research engaged itself to investigate the internal, external and technical dynamics of Nigeria health care service as a sector and how the formers are necessary and contributory to the adoption of RFID thereby eliciting the level and direction (positive or negative) which it is taking in the economy. It also tasked the research study to identify and better understand areas where RFID adoption will be more beneficial to the Nigeria health sector.

The result showed that RFID adoption though assigned with low level of awareness; adoption capital recompense and infrastructural challenges in the Nigeria health sector in particular, also has high and great tendencies to thrive. The result of the second research question revealed that the Nigerian health care service delivery can harness the benefits of the IT solution system to function in its clientele servicing in forms like authentication and identification of personnel, patients’ data and blood verification; drug dispensary among others.

However, among the varying importance of RFID technology, the most significantly identified in the research is the data solution service, which cuts through a wide range of interconnectivity between the primary health care giver and the secondary users and health administrators.


Keywords: RFID, adoption, technology, healthcare, hospital, sector, Nigeria, ICT


TABLE OF CONTENTS

1          INTRODUCTION
1.1                   Background of Study
1.2                   Research Motivation
1.3                   Purpose of Study
1.4                   Problem Description
1.5                   Delimitation
1.6                   Chapter Framework

2          RESEARCH DESIGN
2.1                   Research Questions
2.2                   Research Purpose
2.3                   Research Approach
2.4                   Research Strategy
2.5                   Research Method
2.6                   Data Collection Methods
2.7                   Sampling
2.8                   Data Analysis Methods
2.9                   Validity and Reliability
2.10                 Visualization Methodology

3   RFID: ITS APPLICABILITY IN HEALTH SECTOR
3.1       What is RFID?
3.1.1    RFID Tags
3.1.2    RFID Readers
3.1.3    RFID Infrastructure
3.1.4    How does RFID works?
3.1.5    RFID Information Security
3.2                   RFID implementation in hospitals
3.2.1    Tracking
3.2.2    Identification and verification
3.2.3    Sensing
3.2.4    Data collection and transfer
3.2.5    Alerts
3.3       Benefit of RFID in healthcare sector
3.3.1    Anti-Theft
3.3.2    Patient Safety and Satisfaction
3.3.3    Medical Process
3.3.4    Reducing Time and Cost
3.3.5    Improved Productivity
3.3.6    Improved Patient Monitoring
3.4                   RFID Adoption Success Factors and Barriers

4          CASE OVERVIEW
4.1                   Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH)
4.2                   Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH)
4.3                   Gold Cross Hospital
4.4                   EKO Hospital

5          CASE ANALYSIS
5.1       Within Case Analysis
5.1.1    Case 1: LASUTH
5.1.2    Case 2: LUTH
5.1.3    Case 3: Gold Cross Hospital
5.1.4    Case 4: EKO Hospital
5.2       Cross Case Analysis

6          SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION
6.1                   Summary
6.2                   Results
6.2.1    RQ1: What factors contribute to the adoption of RFID in Nigeria Health sector?
6.2.2    RQ2:  Can the adoption of RFID improve health      service delivery in Nigeria?

7          DISCUSSIONS
7.1                   Suggestions
7.2                   Further Research
7.3                   Possible Research Questions
REFERENCES
APPENDICES


1     INTRODUCTION



1.1      Background of Study


Development experts have long recognized health as an important moral and social goal. Health is also a key component of a sound development strategy, along with education, economic growth and good governance. As a form of human capital, health is essential to a productive society. Furthermore, the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) project of the United Nations (UN) fully endorses the central role of health in development (Dr. L. G.Sambo, 2008). The importance of health for economic growth and reduction of poverty is reflected in the MDG. Three out of the eight goals refer directly to health. One additional goal refers to access to affordable drugs in developing countries.

The long heralding efforts and benefits harnessed from health service production and delivery cannot be distinctively separate from contributions of technologies to improvement of human lives. Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology is an automatic identification method, relying on storing and remotely retrieving data using devices called RFID tags or transponders. An RFID system consists of a transponder, a reader, a database and a software application for processing the collected data (TelecomSpace Telecom Tutorials).

The application of RFID technology in healthcare has been showing great potential to improve patient safety, reduce medical errors, save costs and overall contribute to the quality of care delivered to patients. In addition, the efficiency of healthcare delivery may also benefit from RFID technology. It is expected that availability of the technology, both inside and outside healthcare, will grow quickly over the coming years (RAND Europe, 2009).


RFID can be adopted in Hospitals in Nigeria both public and private with the goal to enhance productivity, particularly, in emergency scenario. Such RFID systems are called “indoor positioning systems”. Apart from this, public hospitals can use active RFIDs for patient and personnel identification and location purposes before administrating medications (Akintola K.G., Boyinbode O.K., 2011).

Against this backdrop, adoption and implementation of the RFID system in healthcare has the potential to augment patient safety, decrease operational cost, enhance items, human tracking, and real time management of hospital equipment. Although advantage of such technology that has been deployed in countries such as USA and European countries. Despite the established potential benefit of RFID to address healthcare problems, rate of adoption in developing countries is still very low as compared to developed countries (Fakhr, 2011).

Research done to investigate the factors affecting adoption of RFID in health sector has revealed issues such as cost, return on investment, standardization, organizational, operational and environmental factors. Dong-Her Shih, et al., (2008), highlighted seven factors (Dong-Her Shih, 2008). They are operation efficiency, manufacturing efficiency and supply chain efficiency, organization context, investment cost, market environment, and technology characteristic. The existence of this cannot be underrated in the Nigerian health service delivery horizon.

It is also necessary to ascertain how users and regulators of new technology view the potential impact of RFID in the healthcare industry. Rising costs, inadequate healthcare coverage and healthcare mistakes have prompted the government to investigate ways to improve this industry. What is the likelihood that RFID could have an impact? What roles could RFID play and how might RFID change the major players in the industry (Karen Crooker et al., 2009)? These are questions from former research (es) in USA and would be considered for the Nigerian health platform.


Therefore, the onus placed on this research is to question the possibility of RFID improving health service delivery in Nigeria. It is also assigning the task to identify how the factors (hurdle and accomplishment) of RFID adoption in healthcare can be addressed to facilitate the adoption process.

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