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NewYork-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital optimises replenishment process of medication trays with RFID

Use Cases | By PR RFID & Wireless IoT Global | 30 March 2017
The tray is placed inside a stationary reader and scanned within seconds. The software system provides information on each single medication on the tray and compares it to the list. The tray is placed inside a stationary reader and scanned within seconds. The software system provides information on each single medication on the tray and compares it to the list. Photo: NewYork-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital

Less costs, less time, less labour force thanks to RFID

Only one pharmacist technician per medication tray, five minutes of stocktaking instead of 30 minutes, no more mislabeling or expired medications – NewYork-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital improves patient care and the safe distribution of medication with RFID . “RFID & Wireless IoT” spoke with Righard van Niekerk, Director of Pharmacy Informatics at NewYork Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital, about the initial benefits of the RFID application and the future-driven healthcare policy of the hospital.

Righard van Niekerk, Director of Pharmacy Informatics at NewYork Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital in an interview with “RFID & Wireless IoT Global”

 

Manual replenishment process took nearly 30 minutes

Prior to the implementation of RFID the process of replenishing medication trays for the OR and ER was a time-consuming and inefficient process. At least two employees – a pharmacist technician who picked the medications and a pharmacist who verified the contents – were needed to assemble the trays. The entire manual checking process took nearly 30 minutes per tray preventing personnel from working in other clinical areas where it was needed.

Moreover, the costly, time-consuming process did not prevent mistakes in logging, missing medication or overlooked expiration dates leading to additional costs. “For those reasons, NewYork-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital chose to implement a time and cost-efficient RFID-based tracking solution,” Righard van Niekerk, Director of Pharmacy Informatics, says.

Today the assembly of a tray requires only five minutes – thanks to RFID

“Almost two years ago, the hospital did an extensive ROI examination of RFID technology, comparing different companies specialised in the assembly of medication trays. After choosing the RFID solution that was the best fit for the hospital’s needs, the RFID application was rolled out smoothly without major challenges,” Righard van Niekerk continues:

Righard van NiekerkRighard van Niekerk “Today, the assembly of a tray requires five minutes tops and only one pharmacist technician to refill the medications. In the stock area, the technician replenishes the medications that were previously tagged by a third party vendor to the designated tray according to a list of medications provided by the software system. The tray is then placed inside a stationary reader and scanned within seconds. The software system provides information on each single medication on the tray and compares it to the list. In case of an incorrect replenishment, the RFID reader sends a notification to the software for correction.”

RFID solution enhances patient safety, saves time and reduces labour costs

“The hospital has increased patient safety since RFID enhances the stock accuracy to 100 percent. This helps to prevent the wrong medication being administered to patients. Due to the RFID solution, the hospital can produce more trays more frequently – up to 150 trays per day – and is able to prepare trays for three days in advance. In the past, trays could only be exchanged on a weekly basis, now they can be exchanged on a daily basis.

At the same time the application reduces the amount of staff needed to assemble the trays relocating the personnel to other clinical areas where their work capacity is needed. The solution also reduces the time required to assemble the tray and saves costs. After a procedure in the OR or ER, the reader scans the tray listing which medication has been used, which supplies need to be refilled and informs the technician which medication expires soon, simplifying the restocking of the tray,” Righard van Niekerk states.

Innovative, future-driven healthcare at the center

The NewYork-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital positions itself at the forefront of providing innovative, future driven healthcare. Righard van Niekerk explains: “The RFID application is not completely integrated into the hospital system yet. The first phase of integrating the RFID solution with the hospital electronic health record will be a manual process to reconcile the usage and documentation. This integration phase will start in the next couple of months.

The hospital hopes to have a more automated solution by the fourth quarter of 2017. Moreover, the technology is currently used in other hospitals across the US and the use is expanding. At the moment, the hospital also works on a RFID-based solution for stock accuracy on the shelves and also plans to expand the tracking solution to the OR and ER areas to have a hospital-wide overview of the provided medications.

Recently, the hospital has implemented a patient access portal at the bedside. Via the portal, patients can already watch TV or order food if they are authorised to do so. This year, the portal will be enhanced to also provide pharmacy services, discharge services or counselling services. Capacity management for better patient tracking and automated dispensing cabinets for anesthetics in the operating room are on the hospital‘s agenda as well.”

Read the full use case in the "Company & Application Guide RFID | Wireless IoT 2017" published by the leading trade journal "RFID & Wireless IoT Global". Download your personal digital copy now and gain exclusive insight into the potential of RFID & Wireless IoT technologies for process optimisation in different industries.

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Last modified on Monday, 10 April 2017 10:49
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