Factors influencing the adoption of RFID technology in the New Zealand hospital environment
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The healthcare sector, and hospitals in particular, have traditionally been slow to adopt new information systems technology. This reflects higher priorities for resources, the complex nature of the hospital environment and the work carried out, and the adoption of evidence-based practice. However, healthcare funding bodies have continued to push for greater use of information systems as part of the solution to chronic problems with waste and inefficiency, patient safety, and the diffusion of new medical knowledge. One technology that offers some potential for reducing waste and inefficiency and improving patient safety is Radio Frequency Identification (RFID). It is often regarded as the successor to barcodes. Pilot systems are already in place in hospitals for applications ranging from real-time stock control to storing patient data to locating staff and equipment. While RFID offers many advantages over barcodes, it brings new challenges of its own. This dissertation seeks to identify the factors that ill influence the adoption of RFID technology in the New Zealand (NZ) hospital environment. It draws on related work on the adoption of information systems generally, reported case studies of organisations that are piloting RFID technology, and interviews with clinicians and information systems (IS) staff operating within the hospital environment. The dissertation concludes with an analysis of the key differences between RFID and general IS, and which hospital RFID applications have the greatest chance of successful implementation.