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Filling a Critical Role in Pharmaceutical Inventory Management

RFID use is expanding in healthcare. How do you see it improving patient safety and clinician efficiency?


I believe RFID will be a critical tool for us in the healthcare space to improve medication distribution and administration safety. As a user of RFID tags and scanning for the perioperative space, the technology has proven to be effective in monitoring the right medication, dose, and quantity. Clinician involvement will also allow for more efficiencies with better time management around handling and checking medications and improve inventory tracking while reducing the rates of human error that we see today.

What are the current challenges in adopting RFID in healthcare?


Time and resources are notorious constraints when adopting new technology, particularly RFID. As a result, we are late adopters using RFID tags and automation in healthcare. It will require greater awareness and seamless integration of the current technology into standard workflows to increase utilization. I believe this will come with more competition and manufacturers adopting RFID tags on medication labels.

Where do you see the future of RFID in healthcare?


An RFID tag will likely, at some point, become a standard part of the medication package. This technology will enhance our inventory visibility and enable the ease of tracking and monitoring of medications for departments across all patient care areas, not just Pharmacy. I also see this becoming part of the recommendation from compliance agencies to improve DSCSA compliance and speed up the tracking of recalled medications. RFID-embedded medication will likely become the standard in supply chain management, offering financial and operational performance optimization for years to come.

About the Author
Anthony Scott obtained his PharmD from The University of Georgia and his MBA in Healthcare Management from New England College. He completed a PGY-1 Pharmacy Practice Residency at Piedmont Hospital in Atlanta, GA, and then completed his PGY-2 Health-System Pharmacy Administration Residency at the North Florida/South Georgia VA Medical Center in Gainesville, FL. He is also a diplomat of the ASHP Foundation Pharmacy Leadership Academy. Prior to Emory, he served as the Assistant Director of Pharmacy Operations at The University of Chicago Medicine (UCM) and was also the PGY1/2 Health-System Pharmacy Administrative Residency program director at UCM. Anthony has been an active member of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP), currently serving as the Chair of the Educational Steering Committee and House of Delegates representative for the state of Georgia. He also has involvement with the Georgia Society of Health-System Pharmacists (GSHP), serving as the Director-elect for the Northeast Georgia Metro District. He previously served on several committees and workgroups with the Illinois Council of Health System Pharmacists (ICHP).

Fresenius Kabi recognizes the importance of continually innovating the pharmaceutical industry with auto-identification technologies to support accurate, efficient data collection and safer patient care. We value the opinions of industry leaders in this field working to achieve this common goal.

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of the company they represent or Fresenius Kabi USA, LLC.

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