RFID: A Value Added Technology for Moving Health Care Forward

We could be entering into a new era as Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology takes over pharmaceutical planning. RFID is a cost-efficient technology used since the early 2000s, providing users with an efficient process for hospital logistics. In recent years, hospitals have energized the RFID to become effective in pharmaceutical supply chain automation.

RFID is a wireless technology, usually comprised of an RFID reader, RFID tags, and antennas to track inventory and assets. There was a pressing need for this modern technology, and thanks to our generous donors, Fraser Valley Health Care Foundation was able to deliver RFID to the pharmacy lab at Abbotsford Regional Hospital (ARH) in April 2023.

According to Dwayne Kimoto—Coordinator, Distribution Pharmacy Service, ARH and Mission Memorial:
“the reader allows us to properly and safely manage pharmaceuticals inside the crash cart trays in places like ICU, the operating room, and Emergency (see image below). They need to be available anywhere in the hospital where someone is potentially having a heart attack. The trays are based upon the advanced cardiac life-saving protocols that are internationally recognized […]. In the past, it would take us about 45 minutes for one technician to manually inventory everything—get all the replacement stock, have another technician check it, package it and put it back into circulation. What we have now is really a time-effective technology”.

Thus far 174 trays have been processed and according to other pharmacy staff: the process is very quick and the RFID reader scans information within seconds. Dennis Allenby—pharmacy tech (ARH) said, “It tells us what is expiring and if we want to replace anything”. There is no need for drug dosages to be hand-tagged, which could potentially be prone to human error. Crash cart trays are brought to patients immediately equipped with the correct inventory of pharmaceutical supplies. Fraser Valley Health Care Foundation understands the great need for technology, such as RFID which can potentially save someone’s life. We are thankful to our donors for their generosity in helping us fund new technology for patients in need.