I don’t understand why RFID technology isn’t used more frequently in pharmacies. I’ve talked with a few people about RFID technology, and there’s really not much interest. It’s a shame really.
- Some refrigerated medications are expensive, really expensive. One pharmacy manager I spoke with said his pharmacy kept upwards of $400,000 worth of “Factor” in their pharmacy refrigerator at any given time.
- Some refrigerated medications require special handling and tracking, i.e. chemotherapy. Sure would be easier with RFID technology.
- RFID allows real-time tracking. Using simple passive RFID tags in combination with an RFID reader-enabled refrigerator gives you not only real-time inventory, but allows one to have real-time information about each vial, bottle, etc. lot and expiration. Why? because RFID tags are serialized, meaning they’re basically one of a kind.
- RFID refrigerators are commercially available….today. For example: Terso Solutions, Inc. These guys have been doing RFID refrigerators and freezers for a while and have some cool stuff. In addition to the hardware they provide 24/7 monitoring of your RFID equipment.
- These systems are used for blood storage, meaning it works for something in healthcare already.
RFID seems like a mature technology. Why haven’t pharmacies been using it? Heck if I know. It is a question for which I have no good reason.