Trauma Registry Jobs


Use of Radio-frequency Identification (RFID) System Surveillance to Document Attending Physician Arrival to Trauma Activations

Susan Schmunk, CSTR, CAISS

A recent article published in Trauma Performance Improvement outlines the use of RFID chips in a New York Hospital to improve documentation and in turn determine compliance with the American College of Surgeon (ACS) guidelines in Level I and Level II trauma centers. New York-Presbyterian Queens (NYPQ) Hospital went from having a 76% compliance rate to 90%. With this adjunct in place trauma surgeons at NYPQ swipe their badge across the reader upon entry to the trauma room and is known as “passive”. Other systems are available that provide active information by “reading” the RFID badge information when the wearer enters the room and are known as “active”. This information was then used in addition to paper documentation to enter data into the trauma registry.

Trauma registries struggle with obtaining arrival times of key hospital providers during trauma activations. As specified in the Resources for Optimal Care of the Injured Patient, at Level I and Level II trauma centers, trauma surgeons must arrive in the ED within 15 minutes for full trauma activations. These centers are then tasked with providing documentation that demonstrates that at least 80% of the time their trauma surgeons are present within that time frame.

While this hospital, NYPQ, already had an RFID program in place for restricting access to medications, supplies and sensitive areas, extending this technology to trauma activations did not require an additional investment.



  1. Stankiewicz S, Kar R, Hadoulis A, et al. (November 13, 2018) Implementation of a Radio-frequency Identification System to Improve the Documentation and Compliance of Attending Physicians’ Arrival to Trauma Activations. Cureus 10(11): e3582. doi:10.7759/cureus.3582

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License CC-BY 3.0., which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.



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