RFID technology is making fast strides in the healthcare and pharmaceutical industry. This week MEPS Real-Time Inc. introduced what it claims is the smallest RFID tag available for the healthcare market to power its Intelliguard Kit and Tray Management System. The MEPS solution is designed to automate medication inventory management and replenishment in hospital pharmacies.
The company says that the new tag is 65 percent smaller than other versions on the market. It was developed in response to market feedback indicating that typical RFID tags used on medication vials were visually intrusive and hindered the safe handling of medication, particularly when used with anesthesia kits, trays and drawers.
MEPS CEO Shariq Hussain says that the smaller tag, which is only available with the Intelliguard® Kit and Tray Management System, is easier to handle, less intrusive and alleviates the potential for medications to become stuck in automated and standard anesthesia carts.
“It made sense to accelerate the planned development of the smaller tag following feedback from clinical teams,” says Hussain. “Use of an anesthesia tray with the smaller tag size eliminates any chance of it becoming wedged or stuck when the trays are being utilized by anesthesiologists and other healthcare providers – especially during an emergency situation.”
RFID is growing in popularity when it comes to tagging pharmaceutical goods and kits, trays and supply boxes in hospital pharmacies. There are several firms currently vying for market share in the space.
Sharp Memorial Hospital in San Diego showed significant improvements in accuracy and an 80 percent reduction in pharmacy replenishment times for medication kits and trays by using the Intelliguard® Kit and Tray Management system.
The system can read more than 150 medications in seconds and provides 100 percent accuracy in identifying missing, expired, soon-to-expire and recalled medications. In addition, one tag can be used for all medication packaging, including foil wrapped IVs, syringes, ampules, vials and boxes.