RFID refers to small electronic devices that consist of a small chip and an antenna. They are capable of carrying quite a bit of information. To retrieve the information an RFID device must be scanned much like a barcode. While barcodes require a “line of sight” to be recognized by the scanner RFID labels can be scanned independent of position relative to the scanner and may be read up to 20 feet (or more) away.
RFID is an interesting alternative to barcoding for medication tracking and administration. The advantages are their ability to carry increased amounts of information and the relative ease of scanning mentioned above. It is unclear why RFID hasn’t become more main stream, but one reason could be the relative cost when compared to a traditional barcoding system. RFID would certainly make tracking inventory a little easier.