RFID tracking of refrigerated meds in the pharmacy

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.

Consider this:

  1. 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.
  2. Some refrigerated medications require special handling and tracking, i.e. chemotherapy. Sure would be easier with RFID technology.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

2 thoughts on “RFID tracking of refrigerated meds in the pharmacy”

  1. I can only agree with you Jerry. I blame confusion as one of the biggest hurdle for RFID in hospitals. While for retailers the choice of technology has always been clear (UHF RFID), in healthcare, HF and UHF are still fighting for “hegemony”, with scores of strong advocates in both sides. As you know we, at SencorpWhite, have been working on delivery RFID to carousels customers. I think it’s just a matter of time, 2013 is going to be a good year for RFID in healthcare.

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