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RFID News Roundup

Fletcher Allen Health Care tracks pharmaceuticals via Kit Check's RFID solution ••• Infratab introduces smartphone sensor tags for monitoring perishables ••• Smartrac announces thin on-metal RFID label, new laundry tag ••• HID Global's NFC tag pilot demonstrates "proof of presence" for home care ••• Stryker Europe expands adoption of SATO's PJM RFID tags ••• Maxim Integrated unveils NFC RFID chip with an I2C interface ••• Everykey begins Kickstarter campaign for its Bluetooth wristband.
By Beth Bacheldor
Nov 06, 2014

The following are news announcements made during the past week by the following organizations: Fletcher Allen Health Care, Kit Check; Infratab; Smartrac; HID Global; Stryker Europe, SATO; and Maxim Integrated; and Everykey.

Fletcher Allen Health Care Tracks Pharmaceuticals Via Kit Check's RFID Solution

Fletcher Allen Health Care, a medical center and hospital in Burlington, Vermont, in alliance with the University of Vermont, is using Kit Check's automated hospital pharmacy kit processing and medication tracking solution to help ensure patients receive medications that are safe and effective.

A Fletcher Allen staff member uses Kit Check's RFID solution.
Fletcher Allen Health Care, which includes a 562-bed academic medical center and three other major campuses and 30 patient-care sites, manages more than 700 pharmacy medication kits (one kit can hold up to 200 medicines) of 33 varieties daily, and had been doing so manually. But the manual restocking was inefficient and prone to human error, according to Kit Check. Now, Fletcher Allen Health Care is using RFID and has reduced the time it takes to replenish kits to mere seconds, while eliminating kit errors due to expired drugs.

Kit Check's scanning solution features an RFID reader that automatically captures the tag's ID and associates it with the appropriate kit. This eliminates the practice of manually recording each kit's seal serial number, and also creates a detailed audit trail. Kit Check's solution is also used to identify each individual medication within a pharmacy kit. Kits are placed on trays tagged with EPC Gen 2 passive ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) RFID tags, and are put into the Kit Check enclosed reader. Every item is also tagged with a similar tag. Fletcher Allen is using tags supplied by Avery Dennison.

Fletcher Allen has implemented three Kit Check scanning stations at its medical center—two at the main pharmacy and one in the OR pharmacy—as well as a fourth at a satellite ambulatory center. The organization has worked with Kit Check to convert 766 pharmacy trays and kits to support RFID; the process requires four steps. Each kit type is created in the software, which designates the medication quantities and volumes associated with each type, and alternate medications are identified to address shortages. Next, an RFID tag is applied to each kit and matched to a kit type, and an RFID tag is applied to each kit medication. Characteristics, such as lot number, expiration date and National Drug Code (NDC), are then associated with the tag. Finally, tagged medications are added to the kits and are associated with each kit when placed in Kit Check's scanning station.

During the first six months of using the Kit Check solution, Fletcher Allen tracked nearly 130,000 medications and restocked pharmacy kits more than 10,000 times, according to Kit Check. The efficiency improvement is saving the pharmacy staff approximately 14 hours of manual work daily, the company reports. Fletcher Allen also has been able to manage recalls and drug shortages easily and efficiently, in addition to eliminating hundreds of man-hours that were previously required to resolve these issues that arise with increasing frequency.

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