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Case study: New technology tracks care facility laundry

Supplier: Tunstall Healthcare
04 March, 2010

Tunstall Healthcare has launched the RFID garment identification solution for residential care facilities in Australia.

The RFID garment identification is a small button that is discretely attached to residents' garments to ensure clothing is properly distributed after laundering.

RFID buttons can be programmed with up to 200 characters, allowing a residents' name and other important information, such as detergent sensitivities and other skin or contagious conditions to be discretely included.

Tunstall's RFID garment identification solution provides a dignified alternative to writing names or sewing labels into resident’s garments and ensures clothes that are often given to residents as gifts are always returned to their owner.

RFID is also suitable for dementia care facilities where residents may not always be able to identify their laundry, but become distressed if they see somebody else wearing their clothing.

Laura Chambers Lodge in the United Kingdom has been a Specialist Dementia Unit since 2001 and is one of 5 units across Nottingham, UK. Tunstall Healthcare in the UK approached Nottingham City Council about using Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) buttons to tackle the clothing-related problem.

Before the introduction of the buttons some residents resorted to writing their names inside their clothing in felt pen or even sewing in name tags. The pen often comes off in the wash, it damages and defaces the clothing, and both of these techniques are undignified for older people. Families want to make sure their relatives are comfortable and nice clothing is a common gift. To see someone else wearing clothing they have purchased for their relative is upsetting and can be a major cause for concern about the level of care the individual is receiving.

The Laundress of the first unit to pilot the technology, Laura Chamber's Lodge in the UK, noted: "I would not be without this technology now. It has stopped confusion when family buy new clothes. Family members are more confident with purchasing expensive clothing. And with this button system we no longer have a lost property box."

Nottingham City Council have since won an award at the Health and social care awards for NHS - Institute for Innovation and Improvement in the "Innovative Health and Social Care Technology" category.

Only 11mm in diameter, the RFID garment identification button is small enough to be inconspicuously attached to garment tags, pockets or hems.

The RFID garment identification button is easily attached using the application tool and can only be removed using the removal tool. Garment data is easily accessed by swiping across the RFID hand held reader or RFID desktop reader.

RFID garment identification is a discrete solution that ensures residents maintain their identity and experience minimal distress by always having their own clothing safely returned to them.

If you would like additional information on the RFID garment identification solution visit www.tunstallhealthcare.com.au or call 1300 760 333.

Source: Marketing