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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

General

What is RFID?

Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) is the wireless use of electromagnetic fields to read and capture information stored on a tag attached to an object. A tag can be read from up to several feet away and does not need to be within direct line-of-sight of the reader to be tracked.

IntelliGuard® Intelligent Inventory Solutions utilize a global standard for encoding (or writing data) to the RFID tags, called EPC Gen2. It is a RFID passive technology, meaning there are no batteries/electrical connections to the product tags. We utilize UHF 900MHz bandwidth.

What IntelliGuard® Intelligent Inventory Solutions are currently available?

We currently offer a suite of IntelliGuard® Intelligent Inventory Solutions that employ radio frequency identification (RFID) technology to provide unprecedented real-time visibility of your pharmaceutical and other inventory, including:

  • IntelliGuard® Kit & Tray Management System that uses advanced RFID technology to automate medication inventory management and replenishment for faster processing and reduced errors.
  • IntelliGuard® Linked Visibility Inventory System uses patented and exclusive RFID technology to automatically collect actionable medication inventory data at the point-of-care, without requiring manual counting, paper recording or item-level scanning. With virtually guaranteed anesthesia care team compliance, the IntelliGuard® LVIS solution offers secure access, constant, real-time visibility and reliable use metrics crucial for charge capture validation.
  • IntelliGuard® Smart Cabinet Inventory System that offers RFID enabled Controlled Temperature Cabinets (CTCs) for high-value, critical-dose inventory. Inventory is automatically updated each time the door is closed and product is removed. Cold (2° — 8°C) and Controlled Room Temperature (20° — 25°C) settings available in various sizes from small, under counter units to large capacity models.
  • IntelliGuard® Vendor Managed Inventory System that offers RFID-enabled Controlled Temperature Cabinets for manufacturers / distributors to confidently enable consignment programs. Intended to be placed on-site at your client's location. Inventory is automatically updated each time the door is closed and your product is removed. Cold (2° — 8°C) and Controlled Room Temperature (20° — 25°C) settings available in various sizes from small, under counter units to large capacity models.

What return on investment (ROI) can be realized by using IntelliGuard® Intelligent Inventory Solutions?

IntelliGuard® Intelligent Inventory Solutions generate a ROI through the following metrics:

  • Decrease of inventory and increase of inventory turns.
  • Decrease of time required for manual counting of inventory on a daily, weekly or quarterly timeframe.
  • Decrease of time required for reordering of inventory.
  • Decrease of time required for replenishment of inventory.
  • Decrease of time required for collection of recalled medications.
  • Decrease of wasted or expired drugs.
  • Decrease of inventory stock-outs.
  • Reallocation of employee hours to patient care activities.
  • Decrease of inventory loan/borrows.
  • Decrease of expedited shipments.

We would be happy to share our ROI model to calculate expected cumulative benefits of our solutions in your facility.

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How are your IntelliGuard® Intelligent Inventory Solutions priced? What financing options do you offer?

We offer a variety of financial models to meet your needs, including zero capital/RFID tag only pricing, capital purchase and lease financing options. All pricing includes hardware, software, implementation services and support.

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How do I get a price quote?

We can provide specific pricing for your facility based on the configuration and the quantity of units needed. Contact [email protected] to schedule a consultation.

IntelliGuard® Intelligent Inventory Solutions and RFID Smart Tag Technology

How do the IntelliGuard® Intelligent Inventory Solutions work?

The IntelliGuard® Intelligent Inventory Solutions process begins by placing a small RFID tag onto medication packages. The RFID tag consists of an antenna and a chip that contains a unique identifier.

Using the IntelliGuard® RFID-enabled workstation (scanner/reader), product information/data such as manufacturer, medication name, NDC number, lot number and expiration date is associated with the unique identifier and placed into a relational database. Once the product information/data is placed into the relational database, the data is utilized throughout the application.

The IntelliGuard® System reads the RFID tags of all product inventory simultaneously, compares it against the relational database and provides work instructions (e.g., what items are missing or expired in a tray) , delivers actionable information (e.g., PAR level shortage or recalled product alerts) and provides inventory management reporting.

At the end of the transaction cycle, data is made available for reporting purposes.

What RFID technology do you utilize?

IntelliGuard® Intelligent Inventory Solutions utilize a global standard for encoding (or writing data) to the RFID tags, called EPC Gen2. It is RFID passive technology, meaning there are no batteries/electrical connections to the product tags. We utilize UHF 900MHz bandwidth. EPC Gen2 is vendor agnostic but we do have RFID technology partners in Impinj and ThingMagic.

Will RFID (EPC Gen2 UHF) technology affect my medications and/or biologics?

No. The amount of radio frequency energy utilized to read a RFID tag is extremely small. A 2010 IEEE study, “Non-Thermal Effects of Radio Frequency Exposure on Biologic Pharmaceuticals for RFID Applications” found that:

“… even at a power level of 8W EIRP at five different and most commonly used RF channels, none of the three major protein groups, including hormones, vaccines and immunoglobulins, showed degradation in their structural properties which suggest that, for the tested protein categories and associated biologic pharmaceuticals, there is no detectable non-thermal effect due to RF exposure.”

Will IntelliGuard® Intelligent Inventory Solutions interfere with hospital wireless or electronic systems?

No. As evidenced in a 2008 study (http://www.rfidjournal.com/article/articleview/4186/1/1/) which tested the effects of passive ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) RFID systems on medical equipment in a real-world application model, the researchers did not discover any problems with electromagnetic interference (EMI).

Does RFID pose a hazard to personnel?

No. IntelliGuard® products comply with US FCC regulations governing the transmission of RF power in the 915 MHz ISM band. In addition, FCC regulations are based on the assumption that UHF systems operate in “free space”. What this means is that even if the IntelliGuard® RFID product is not used as intended (such as performing a scan with the RF sealed enclosure door open), the distance between the user and antennas, the relatively short duration of the scan, and the amount of power utilized, ensure that there is no potential to exceed allowable limits for exposure.

System Requirements

Where can I learn more about the IntelliGuard® systems' IT architecture details and requirements?

Contact us to learn more about our flexible IT architecture and how we can meet your specific requirements.

Do I have to do special communications wiring?

No. Communication is managed through the existing Ethernet or Wi-Fi structure of the hospital.

Is this an FDA cleared device?

No. At this time, IntelliGuard® Intelligent Inventory Solutions do not require FDA clearance. If this definition were to change, we will take the necessary action to have it properly cleared through an FDA 510k process.

Will I need to replace all of our barcode systems?

No. RFID technology can work effectively with barcode technology.

How do the medication products get RFID Smart Tags?

You simply apply blank RFID Smart Tags to medication in a newly opened carton. Using the bar code on the medication packaging, the IntelliGuard® system utilizes bulk inventory encoding for fast and error-free processing. IntelliGuard® Intelligent Inventory Solutions automatically read the name, dosage, manufacturer, package and NDC. Once you enter the lot # and expiration date, the newly opened carton of medication is placed inside the IntelliGuard® Workstation for bulk encoding.

Are RFID Smart Tags reusable?

RFID Smart Tags have a unique identifier which correlates in a database to a specific item (medication, medical device, etc.) for which tracking is required, therefore they are not reusable.

How many items can be scanned (inventoried) at one time?

With the ability to read high-density trays, multi-layer tackle boxes and overlapping kit labels, the IntelliGuard® Kit and Tray Management System system can scan more than 150 medications in a matter of seconds.

The IntelliGuard® Smart Cabinet Inventory System can scan up to 500 items, including high-value temperature-sensitive products, at one time.

How do the IntelliGuard® Intelligent Inventory Solutions integrate with other hospital systems?

All IntelliGuard® Intelligent Inventory Systems’ software is HL7 compliant to seamlessly integrate with your EHR, EMR, EMAR or other HIT systems that are also HL7 compliant.