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Can RFID Be Used for Blood Supply Management?
Can the technology deliver benefits in this area?
Yes, absolutely it can—and it can deliver significant benefits.
The Transfusion Medicine RFID Consortium, a group that includes numerous universities and clinics, the BloodCenter of Wisconsin, and other centers that supply blood products, carried out a pilot throughout the course of several months at some of the BloodCenter of Wisconsin's blood-donation sites and headquarters facility (where blood products are manufactured), as well as at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics (UIHC), where blood was administered to patients.
In 2012, it submitted a report on the pilot to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), as part of a request for 510(k) clearance of the blood-tracking solution. The consortium found that the use of RFID during the pilot resulted in a 33 percent reduction in reconciliation issues or misplaced products at the blood-donation points, as well as an 87 percent decrease in reconciliation issues or misplaced products when blood arrived at the BloodCenter of Wisconsin's headquarters. In addition, efficiency during final inventory check-in at the BloodCenter of Wisconsin increased by 63 percent. At the hospital, product visibility was improved and the correct blood product was delivered to patient bedsides without a single error, for a total of 144 transfusions (see Consortium Pilot Finds RFID Improves Efficiency of Blood Supply Chain).
Here are some other stories related to the use of RFID in blood tracking:
• Mississippi Blood Services Banks on RFID
I hope this information is helpful in developing an RFID system that improves blood tracking and management in your operations.
—Mark Roberti, Founder and Editor, RFID Journal
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