Hospital pharmacies face a growing number of challenges. Between new regulations, increasing drug prices, drug shortages and the opioid crisis, pharmacies are under tremendous pressure to perform with largely limited and outdated tools. The crux of the issue is that hospitals need to improve the intelligence around their medications at an increasingly precise level. Whether it be requirements of the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA) or tracking opioids, tracking bulk packaging is no longer sufficient.
When medications are efficiently tracked from manufacturer to hospital to patient, it’s a win for everyone. According to a recent report published by Protenus (via MedCity News), 18.7 million prescriptions pills were lost due to drug diversion in the hospital setting in the first half of 2018. In a signal indicating the importance of the issue, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) initiated a pilot program to gather data on best practices for emerging technologies to solve the problem of medication mismanagement.
The Current Landscape
Barcoding and manual counting are the two main methods hospitals use to keep track of the circulation of drugs and controlled substances.
Radio-frequency identification (RFID) tagging is a track-and-trace technology that is transforming medication management. Through this solution, every vial, syringe and medication is given an RFID tag that uniquely identifies it. When a pharmacist needs to replenish the inventory, the RFID technology helps them locate specific medications, like those in a recall situation, instantly. This technology eliminates a variety of lengthy and manual processes while reducing the opportunity for human error and, subsequently, an adverse drug event (ADE).
ADEs are injuries that result from drug-related medical intervention, and the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion estimates that they account for one out of every three inpatient adverse events. Human error and mismanagement of drugs, such as the distribution of improper dosages or contamination of medication, contribute to these unfortunate and preventable situations. Additionally, research conducted by the World Health Organization (via CNBC) estimates that thousands of deaths per year are attributed to counterfeit drugs entering global supply chains, particularly in developing countries. As these statistics continue to grow, the need for a viable solution does, too.
INTELLHYDRO TECHNOLOGY supply overall RFID solution for Medicine management in Hospital and Pharmacy.