Healthcare organisation finds RFID keyboard solution

Hospital Products Australia
Friday, 27 August, 2021


For a major Sydney-based healthcare organisation, finding a keyboard that could fit mobile carts and small workstations, while also providing infection control and secure log on, was proving difficult. The current solution was too clunky and ill-fitting for the organisation’s applications and the adhesive hook-and-loop strip that attached the reader to the keyboard created an infection control and cleaning risk.

The organisation was looking for a keyboard that could be easily cleaned and disinfected, along with an embedded radio frequency identification (RFID) reader to reduce equipment count and replacement, and to provide secure credentials.

“Infection control is obviously a big issue in healthcare settings. It was before COVID and it will remain after COVID,” Hospital Products Australia General Manager Kathleen Watson said.

“A keyboard is constantly being touched by many, many people. It could be sitting in a common area or in a hallway where people could touch it. It could have airborne viruses, bacteria and pathogens on it.

“Having the ability to clean it quite rigorously by putting it under hot water with soap, alcohol or bleach is quite important,” she added.

The organisation looked to the rapID keyboard — a washable, slim-designed keyboard with an embedded RFID chip reader, designed to fit in mobile carts and smaller workstations. Resulting from a partnership between Wamee and rf IDEAS, the keyboard provides a single sign-on security credential to improve overall safety and security.

“We looked at the design of the actual keyboard compared to existing keyboards that were too deep,” Watson said.

The contactless authentication coupled with the ability to be washed and sanitised has helped the organisation to meet its infection control targets. The keyboard can be washed under hot water or cleaned with bleach or alcohol. It can even go in the dishwasher. A locking device on the keyboard allows it to be wiped down between uses without registering any keystrokes.

The embedded WAVE ID reader in the keyboard saves space and keeps patient records secure at all times. It can only be accessed via secure contactless authentication.

“Having to tap a reader with a card attached to a belt on something above waist level can be challenging,” Watson said. “Having the reader on the keyboard where it is easier to get to and tap has been easier. They said it was so simple to set up, just literally plug and play. We’re finding it has been quite a positive response.”

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