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North Carolina Hospital Identifies Recalled Drugs Via RFID

The UHF solution, provided by Kit Check, enables the CaroMont Regional Medical Center to reduce the time employees spend locating and replacing recalled medications on crash carts, as well as replacing drugs and resealing kits, from more than 20 hours down to about two hours.
By Claire Swedberg

Once medications are packed within the kit, it is placed inside the scanning station, which comes with a built-in RFID reader. According to MacDonald, the type of reader installed in the stations varies. The station's reader interrogates all tags and forwards that data to the software via a wired connection to a PC. Based on the tag reads, the Kit Check software determines if the medications match that kit's requirements. It then stores the results, displaying an alert if the kit is missing medications or contains an incorrect drug.

Stocked trays of pharmaceuticals to be monitored
The kit-scanning process can be completed in approximately five minutes, the company reports, as opposed to the 20 minutes required to manually check that the proper pharmaceuticals are packed in the kit before it is sealed. Staff members then assign the kit to a cart and send it to the appropriate hospital department.

Kevin MacDonald, Kit Check's co-founder and CEO
If a recall occurs, workers can enter the recalled medication's lot number into the Kit Check software, which identifies if that drug is packed in any kits, pinpointing the affected kits and the carts on which they can be found. Employees then manually locate the appropriate carts and kits, returning them to the pharmacy and removing the recalled drug.

Prior to the Kit Check system's installation, workers had to walk to every cart within each department, visually identify kits that might contain a recalled medication and break each seal to look inside. The kits then needed to be resealed, even if the recalled drug was not present. That task could often take several hours or days to complete, MacDonald says. But with the RFID solution in place, he notes, the response to a typical recall can be reduced from about 20 to 30 hours, down to only around two hours.

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