The RFID Edge Hospital Pharmacy Automates Restocking
Debbie Pereira, Regulated Pharmacy Technician:
It used to take us about 15 minutes per tray and now it takes us about 2 minutes, to 3 minutes. It was a first for a Canadian hospital
Edith Rolko, Director of Pharmacy:
OR trays and the resuscitation trays are extremely tedious to refill. Techs used to manually check 126 items per tray. The process is now automated. We started off on this journey with the RFID and it really has made a significant improvement in terms of the quality of the products.
With the RFID it captures anything that is expiring so it prevents us from releasing the medications.
Richard Bowry, Chief of Anesthesia:
We're now in the fortunate situation where when we turn up to work in the morning we had the reassurance that all these drugs are all in date because they can be scanned very quickly down in pharmacy. The other thing that's been amazingly valuable in the last few weeks is that we can now get the drugs updated much more quickly.
We used to do the anesthesia tray 3 times a week. It allows us to do it daily due to its efficiency. Trays can also be customized.
It was very difficult for our technicians to actually change that tray and make sure that there were no errors. Now, with the RFID we can customize our trays and they can get more of a particular drug depending upon the surgery that they're doing versus less. It’s simplified drug recalls. Any time we get a recall we just go into the system to see where those medications are. And eased drug shortages. We are able to actually move the medications around to where they are all used up so we don't actually have very much wastage and therefore when the drug shortages come, we haven't run out, we don't have medications that we threw out.
In the OR everything is happening so fast they don't really check so much. It's up to us to really make sure we provide a good dating product and this machine allows us to do that. Techs now have more time to support pharmacists.
It's really nice the technicians are not spending time just checking medications and they can actually start working to full scope, preparing the best possible medication histories for the pharmacist to review and things like that.