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RFID-enabled pharmacy system saves 35,000 man hours

The potential for tagging medications as they move through the supply chain is enormous. That was demonstrated by today’s announcement from Kit Check that its customers have tagged and tracked over 500,000 medications with RFID and its cloud-based software solution through the end of August.

Kit Check, a provider of automated hospital pharmacy kit processing software, says that transforming the manual process of hospital pharmacy kit checking into an automated solution has already saved Kit Check hospitals an estimated 35,000 man-hours. This savings includes 15,000 pharmacist hours — valued at close to $1 million in salaries — that were shifted from manual medication recording processes to improving patient clinical care outcomes.

Kit Check customers have saved more than 35,000 hours in inspection time from RFID.

“The Kit Check team is proud we have helped hospitals save 35,000 man hours of manual effort that can be applied to patient care and cost reduction,” says Kevin MacDonald, an RFID veteran who co-founded Kit Check in 2011.

MacDonald says that combining cloud-based software with RFID has not only saved time and cost, but also proven to be a scalable solution for Kit Check customers. Kit Check users processed over 80,000 hospital pharmacy kits in just 15 months, including 12,000 in August.

“We now have 21 hospitals using Kit Check and expect these new sites to drive savings even more quickly,” says MacDonald.

Safecor Health, an outsourced medication re-packager for hospitals in the U.S.,  is currently 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.

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.  Kit Check’s solution 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 Check’s cloud-based software enables these processes to take place in seconds.

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