Use RFID technology for drug management
Over the past decade, healthcare organizations (HCO) have relied on radio frequency identification (RFID) solutions to assist in identifying and monitoring patients and tracking assets. Pharmacy operations have also seen the benefits of using such technologies-RFID-based tracking methods have the potential to reduce medication errors and help improve patient safety. 1 However, Matthew Farley, senior manager of Fresenius Kabi Medical Technology and Analysis, said that many HCOs did not fully utilize the power of RFID technology in drug management. They are hindered by the cumbersome manual labeling and data association processes required to identify drugs.
“RFID technology can improve work processes, so we can better ensure that these key drugs are in the right place at the right time,” Farley explained. “The current RFID process still requires manual tagging. This is a long time commitment for pharmacy technicians and pharmacists, because they need to ensure that each RFID tag is properly associated with the drug-and the batch number and expiration date are entered correctly Into their system. This may take a lot of time.”
Mike Axelsen, Ph.D., senior manager of pharmaceutical technology and analysis, said that when leading generic drug manufacturers provide RFID-enabled products with important drug-related data automatically embedded in the label of each dose, it eliminates the need for this time-consuming manual work , Fresenius Kabi. When these manufacturers use a standard data format based on the GS1 RFID tag standard, any participant in the supply chain can read the data, including the NDC number, batch number, and expiration date.
“In addition to tracking inventory, open source RFID systems have many benefits,” he said. “As a pharmacist, having RFID-tagged drugs enabled by manufacturers that can be read by my existing system saves me a lot of time. That’s what I can now spend on enhancing clinical and patient care activities Time. It is also important to note that having automatic label association can also reduce the possibility of transcription errors during manual data entry, thereby reducing the possibility of medication errors.”
Farley added that the use of manufacturer-supported RFID tags at the dose level can enhance several different pharmacy workflows, including drug delivery practices, and even narcotics tracking and control. He said that with the increasing adoption of RFID supported by manufacturers, the pharmacy team sees its value, and various new innovations may emerge. The technology will be used to improve pharmacy operations and interoperability throughout the supply chain.
“Having such a generic manufacturer-enabled label that uses GS1 standards can give pharmacists peace of mind,” he said. “These solutions have great potential to help solve major problems in our supply chain in drug tracking, counterfeiting, and even shortages. The ability to overcome the various challenges that organizations are currently facing in drug management—help them eliminate some of the daily frustrations It can help all HCOs realize the full potential of RFID technology.”
To learn more about RFID tags that enable GS1 electronic product codes, please read our case analysis.
- Keen research and consultation. 2021. Global radio frequency identification (RFID) in the healthcare market. https://www.acumenresearchandconsulting.com/radio-frequency- Identification rfid in the healthcare market.
About Fresenius Kabi
Fresenius Kabi is a global healthcare company that focuses on life-saving medicines and technologies in transfusion, blood transfusion and clinical nutrition. Our products and services are used to help care for critically ill and chronically ill patients. Fresenius Kabi’s employees have a common goal: to put life-saving medicine and technology in the hands of people who care for the patient and find answers to the challenges they face. Fresenius Kabi has more than 40,000 employees worldwide.