Every year, millions of patients are affected by medication errors around the world, which leads to billions of dollars of unnecessary and unavoidable healthcare costs. To avoid costly dispensing errors, a lot of healthcare organisations now rely on radio frequency identification (RFID) to help them track and monitor medications across the hospital. This has resulted in better medication management for most healthcare institutions.
As such, RFID systems are increasingly becoming essential for the management of medicines and the overall healthcare of hospitals. This is mainly because this breakthrough technology has the potential to save healthcare organisations plenty of time and money.
To better understand this, read on as this article looks into the importance of RFID in the healthcare sector, specifically for medication management.
Can the use of RFID reduce medication errors?
The short answer to this question is yes. With the use of manufacturer-enabled RFID tags, the healthcare industry can minimise the occurrence of medication errors by primarily providing hospitals with real-time traceability, identification, location, and temperature checks of medicines. By stocking the medications properly and reducing medical errors, the healthcare sector can then ultimately promote the safety of patients.
Even before, many healthcare organisations, especially hospitals, have already been using RFID technology to assist them in patient identification and monitoring. However, it is only fairly recently that RFID was introduced to medication management in order to help the healthcare industry, specifically pharmaceutical organisations, keep an eye on their stocks and minimise dispensing errors. The result is then a reduction in the likelihood of costs arising from erroneous medications.
Specific advantages of RFID for medication management
1. Process automation
RFID helps to automate the process of restocking medicines that will eliminate errors on behalf of the human workforce. The pharmacies and patients no longer need to wait endlessly for the resumption of the stock so that they can purchase their prescriptions. RFID likewise helps maintain accuracy when it comes to medical management. This automatic restocking, before the inventory becomes out of stock, can help medical outlets and patients manifold.
2. Medication tracking
RFID technology also helps hospitals and pharmaceutical organisations track and monitor all the consumed, expired, and soon-to-be expired medications in their inventory. It can assist pharmacies in filling empty medical trays and providing them to medical outlets and healthcare institutes.
3. Timely receipt of medication
Efficient tracking and timely dispensing of medications is a win-win situation for pharmaceuticals, hospitals, and the overall healthcare industry. Even the patients can receive the medicines they need on time. Fortunately, this is now possible with the aid of RFID asset tracking systems. Through RFID, there can already be timely receipts of medications, which can then reduce the immortality rate and patients’ waiting time for the restocking of medicines.
4. Availability of crucial medicines
The use of RFID can help increase the efficiency of pharmaceutical organisations, hospitals, and the overall healthcare sector. There are certain rare medications that are only sourced out in limited numbers. RFID can then play a critical role in this case. For instance, if a patient requires three to four doses of a rare medicine, but only two doses are available, then the other two medicine doses can be restocked right away.
The healthcare industry can benefit a lot from the use of RFID technology. Specifically, the use of this technology in hospitals and pharmaceutical companies can help improve medication management and reduce dispensing errors, which often result in millions or billions of dollars in cost. With the support of RFID, healthcare organisations can ultimately track treatments in real-time and minimise mortality among patients due to lack of proper medication.