RFID Benefits: Eliminate Wasted Time and Human Error

 Eliminate Wasted Time and Human Error

Reduce Costs While Improving Patient Care

Managing medication kits, trays and tackle boxes throughout the hospital is daunting. Pharmacy Technicians, under the supervision of a licensed pharmacist, replenish medication inventory in every kit, tray or box before being deployed for clinical use. The same staff bear the responsibility of ensuring medication kit and tray inventories are complete and accurate at replenishment. Excessive inventory holding costs, expired medication and unnecessary staff work time can cost your facility hundreds of thousands of dollars.

In addition to medication kit and tray management, your pharmacy must manage high-value/high-cost medications, including critical-care biopharmaceuticals, plasma products and vaccines. Although these medications may account for a small percentage of inventory quantity, due to their high cost, they represent a significant amount of budget and can create a financial burden. Other drugs, although seldom administered, are nonetheless vital to have ready. Emergency life-saving medications can be not only be expensive, but many are slow movers and often have a short shelf life. Products need to be in stock when patients arrive. Consequently, their stock levels and expiration dates must be managed closely and carefully.

Reduce Costs While Improving Patient Care

1. ® 2013 by the American Pharmacists Association. All rights reserved. Health System Pharmacy: Inpatient

For most pharmacies, significant costs, regulatory pressures and patient care and safety challenges are often associated with medication inventory management and inconsistent medication management processes.

As reported in the American Pharmacists Association Career Pathway Evaluation Program for Pharmacy Professionals: “Workload and long hours are typically the least appealing aspect of inpatient pharmacy work. And concern with workflow issues and medication shortages are paramount.1

WHITEPAPER: The Risk of Relying on Human Perfection

Pharmacists Have Total Responsibility but Limited Control of Medications in the O.R.

Pharmacists are responsible for all medications in a medical facility, yet cannot control the integrity, storage and usage of medications in the O.R. Even so, many hospitals still trust in manual medication carts and handwritten documentation. Others have adopted “automated” medication cart (ADC) solutions only to discover anesthesia care teams find them frustrating and disruptive to patient care. As a result, these approaches continue to lead to incorrect inventory data and zero visibility once medications disappear behind the operating room doors.

Most health system pharmacies don’t have accurate inventory metrics, lack the capability to provide required oversight and don’t know if medications are at risk of stock-out or outdating. In a recall situation, this lack of visibility presents an ever greater challenge and potentially dangerous safety risk.

A Logical First StepA Logical First Step

With a large variety of medications and patients needing a high degree of attention and care, health system staff pharmacists are charged with making sure those medications are delivered on time and accurately, and that those medications are optimal for patients. At the same time, staff pharmacists are required to answer phones and work with other professionals assisting them with patient care.

The benefits of RFID healthcare technology include automating manual processes prone to human error while decreasing clinical workflow interruptions and saving thousands of pharmacy staff hours annually. Health system inpatient pharmacists reported that they frequently work under pressure or experience work-related stress. This is especially true when dealing with patients in critical care situations. Minor adjustments in therapy can sometimes mean the difference between whether a patient goes home or stays in the health system. At times, these adjustments are needed immediately.

By automating the replenishment process for medication kits and trays, and optimizing inventory to assure stock levels and expiration dates are managed closely and carefully, you can assure the right drugs in the right quantities are available when and where they are needed.

LEARN MORE about what makes IntelliGuard® Intelligent Inventory Solutions different and how we can help your hospital or health system reduce medication errors with RFID pharmacy automation