How Does RFID Help University of Maryland Medical Center Cut Medication Error Rate?

University-of-Maryland-medical-center-RFID-blogOne of the benefits of RFID technology is that it can give hospitals an accurate count of their supplies and automate certain tasks, which, in a way, improve patient safety, for it makes it easier to identify drugs near their expiration date and helps speed up response times to drug recalls.

At the RFID in Healthcare conference in Washington, D.C., this week, the manager of University of Maryland Medical Center’s pharmacy services has shared how shifting to RFID technology as part of its healthcare technology armory has helped it cut down medication error rates.

Traditionally, the manual process of checking trays of emergency medications for Code carts, which contain anywhere from 25 to 75 drugs, was fraught with errors. Missing or outdated drugs pushed up the error rate to 1 in 20.

But ever since RFID technology was introduced in 2012, using a Kit Check RFID reader along with RFID tags, it has cut its error rate down to 1 in 4,000. The medical center now better manage their inventory and order drugs well before they expire. The reader is used to identify which medications need to be replenished or replaced. It has cut the amount of time it takes to prepare these trays from 20 minutes to under five.