RFID is heating up in the pharmaceutical industry. Alba Ukraine, a wholesale distributor of pharmaceuticals based in Boryspil, Ukraine has deployed an RFID-based system with GPS tracking to streamline its supply chain.
applying RFID tags for eight Kit Check customers with a 350,000 annual pharmacy kit medication run rate. The companies are collaborating to introduce the Kit Check solution to other hospital pharmacies throughout Safecor’s 700-hospital customer base.
According to the Nordic ID blog, Ukraine desired an easy-to-use RFID solution with GPS tracking possibilities for streamlining its supply chain. A key requirement of the RFID solution was that it had to include the entire supply chain, from the distributor to the customer. The request imposed some technical challenges in that the UHF RFID tags of the plastic containers including pharmaceuticals, as well as the RFID tags of the customer cards, all needed to be scanned throughout the entire supply chain. In addition, a mobile computer also had to track the driver’s route with GPS during the delivery of goods to pharmacies and hospitals.
Another requirement by Alba Ukraine was that the tracking operations had to be as easy as possible to handle by technically inexperienced staff.
Ryan O’Dell, chief marketing and sales officer at Safecor Health, says that Safecor and Kit Check hospital pharmacy customers are focused on improving quality and efficiency, thereby reducing operating costs.
Kit Check hospitals reduce pharmacy kit processing times and improve the quality process surrounding medication kit replenishment. Customers using Safecor Health for repackaging services can now get their medications pre-tagged with RFID, further enhancing quality and cost savings for hospital pharmacies.
Safecor Health is FDA registered and has pharmacists on staff who verify 100 percent of all repackaged and RFID tagged orders. According to O’Dell, pharmacy kits are used throughout hospitals for critical care procedures including operating room anesthesia, crash carts, pediatric emergency, labor and delivery and many others. The kits contain up to 200 medications each. The solution from Kit Checks eliminates a decades-old manual process of hospital pharmacy kit replenishment and expiration verification.
After a hospital pharmacy kit is used for patient care by medical staff, it is returned to the pharmacy so consumed medications may be replaced. A pharmacy technician must determine what items are missing and handle each individual medication manually to ensure it is not nearing expiration. After expiring items are removed and medications restocked, a pharmacist must double-check the accuracy of kit contents.
By adding RFID tags to medications, a Kit Check scanning station can count and validate each item automatically. Instead of 30 minutes of manual labor, RFID combined with Kit Checks cloud-based software enables these processes to take place in seconds.