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Hospital Pharmacies Using RFID-Enabled Medication from QuVa Pharma

The compounder has been providing its prefilled medication syringes to its customers since late 2017 using technology from Kit Check, to enable those customers to receive and manage the receipt, movement and administration of medications to boost safety and efficiency.
By Claire Swedberg

The hospitals are using RFID-enabled devices from Kit Check with built-in Motorola FX9500 readers from Zebra Technologies or ThingMagic Sargus 2-port readers from Jadak. The reader boxes come in two sizes.

Hospitals load medications into trays according to specific departments' needs, then place each tray into the box in the Kit Check Scanning Station. The reader captures the ID number of each tray's RFID tags within about five seconds, and the Kit Check software compares the results against a template for that tray or kit. If any items are discovered to be missing or have approaching expiration dates or have been recalled, an alert is displayed on the device's screen so that an employee can resolve the issue before the tray leaves the pharmacy. The then restock the kit to adjust for errors, and scan the kit one more time before dispatching to the receiving department.

QuVa has been shipping the pre-tagged products since late 2017, Jenkins says, adding that feedback has been good. The fact that the hospitals themselves do not need to apply RFID labels is an advantage for those who had already planned to employ RFID technology to track mediations.

"For hospital pharmacies, buying pre-tagged from QuVa Pharma is more efficient," Jenkins states, "because they simply drop a tagged item into the kits they are sending to the operating rooms. They don't need to go through the extra step of manually applying the tags." What's more, hospitals have reported that RFID technology use helps them to reduce waste. For one thing, they need not throw out as much medications that might otherwise expire, Jenkins says. "And if, by chance, there is a recall," he notes, "they can track down those meds quickly before they get used."

Over time, Jenkins says, pharmacists can become better at managing medication inventory so as to prevent expirations. "When you look at the data coming back to us from Kit Check about the usage levels," he states, "you can see how the combination of custom compounding and RFID tracking is really supporting safety and inventory management in the pharmacies."

QuVa had investigated the option of incorporating RFID technology into products in the past, Jenkins says, "but over the course of six to twelve months, several of our major customers started asking us about pre-tagging so they could make use of the Kit Check tracking solution." At that point, he adds, the company took a second look into RFID, "and with all the advancements Kit Check has made, it became a really interesting opportunity."

Multiple other companies are already using the Kit Check technology, Ferroni says, including hospitals that attach the tags themselves as medications are received from a supplier, as well as companies such as QuVa that provide RFID tagging on their products. In the latter case, he says, the use of RFID "becomes seamless for hospitals."

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