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How is RFID used in the pharmaceutical industry?

How is RFID used in the pharmaceutical industry?

Update Time:2023/12/13
How is RFID used in the pharmaceutical industry?

1. Introduction to RFID technology
RFID radio frequency identification is a non-contact automatic identification technology. It is a technology that uses radio frequency signals to achieve contactless information transmission through spatial coupling (alternating magnetic field or electromagnetic field) and achieves identification purposes through the transmitted information. It began to rise in the 1990s and gradually matured. It consists of three parts: tag reader and antenna.

(1) Tag
Also known as electronic tags or smart tags, it is a chip with an antenna in the memory. The chip stores information that can identify the target. Composed of coupling components and chips, each tag has a unique electronic code and is attached to the object to identify the target object.

(2) Reader
A device that reads (and sometimes writes) tag information. Readers and writers are divided into handheld and fixed types.

(3) Antenna
Passes radio frequency signals between tags and readers


2. Application of RFID in the medical industry
In the medical system, the function of identity recognition is the first, followed by sample identification, and the third is to improve the efficiency of data entry. The purpose of hospital informatization is to provide correct treatment to patients at the right time, at the right place, and to accurately record the treatment environment. Globally, the magnitude of medical errors is significant. According to statistics: The number of deaths caused by medical errors in the United States every year is approximately 48,000 to 960,000. The number of deaths caused by medical errors ranks fifth in the United States, and the probability of similar medical errors in our country is even higher. . This risk is mainly due to insufficient knowledge and information, as well as identification errors. Scientific and reasonable hospital information systems can greatly reduce this kind of medical errors. So based on the current level of hospital informatization and prospects for the future, what are the applications of RFID technology?

(1) Application on hospital staff badges
Current situation: In HIS systems and other application systems, the account number and password need to be remembered by staff, and the input when logging into the system is cumbersome and the security factor is low.
After application: Personnel do not need to enter an account number to log in to the system, just scan the card, and can also set a password, which is convenient and fast. And because system login requires a unique personnel ID card and password, it is safer to use.

(2) Use of wristbands for inpatients
Current situation: The workload of medical staff in medical institutions is detailed and diverse, and requires a lot of patience and meticulousness to not make the slightest mistake. Mainly reflected in: the inability to quickly understand the drugs that patients are taking during ward rounds. It is time-consuming and labor-intensive for nurses to check the daily distribution of medicines, and it is possible that the wrong medicines are taken or the wrong injections are given. In the event of an emergency, basic information such as the patient's past medical history and allergy history cannot be obtained immediately; the patient's basic vital characteristics are also recorded by adding paper manually. There is no nurse work statistics and clear work responsibilities.
After application: Through the unique uniqueness of RFID tags, patient information can be quickly and accurately identified, and the latest medical order information can be quickly extracted, thus saving valuable rescue time and avoiding medical accidents due to negligence. And can record every detail of daily nursing work in a timely and accurate manner. Achieve traceability management, reduce the daily workload of medical staff, and improve work efficiency. Free medical staff from their daily heavy workload, so that they can provide better and more in-depth services to patients.


(3) Disinfection tracking of instrument packages supplied to the sterilization center
Current situation: The current disinfection supply center provides the supply of sterile items throughout the hospital. The staff's work intensity is high, the work is disordered, and the level of informatization is low. It is difficult for the hospital's senior management to manage the work process, and it is impossible to effectively monitor the disinfection process of surgical kits and to trace the quality. Due to personnel negligence, secondary pollution caused by the use of paper to exchange information, and frequent medical accidents, waste occurs repeatedly.
After application: Through the application of RFID technology, the collection, transmission, storage and use management of business data in the supply room have been strengthened. It promotes information sharing so that medical staff, decision-makers, and managers can obtain the information they need in a timely and accurate manner. Improve work quality and solve the problem of lack of visualization and information-based traceability management of the surgical package process in the supply room, so as to trace single packages of instruments. Through the personnel management of the surgical bag disinfection process, the hospital can accurately assess employees on a piece basis. Avoid hidden dangers caused by cross-infection or incomplete disinfection during the surgical package process

(4) Current status of tracking medical waste
At present, most medical and health institutions lack effective and full supervision of all aspects of waste disposal, resulting in confusion in the classification of medical waste, or unreasonable classification and collection, and those that are treated separately are not treated separately, and those that need to be incinerated are not incinerated. As a result, it is not uncommon for medical waste to be mixed into domestic waste, and a small amount of medical waste is illegally processed for secondary processing or used as raw materials for other daily necessities; and new secondary pollution occurs during the transportation of medical waste.
After application: Combined with the medical waste management system and the hospital's real-time targeting system, each epidemic prevention and administrative unit can instantly and accurately grasp the dynamic information of the entire treatment process, thereby preventing the recurrence of nosocomial infection control problems similar to the SARS epidemic. Standardize all aspects of the medical waste disposal process to avoid medical accidents caused by the outflow of medical waste for reuse; use scanning equipment to collect information throughout the process to avoid secondary cross-infection. By swiping cards to log in by personnel in each link of waste disposal, their respective responsibilities are clarified, and traceability management can be quickly and accurately carried out in the event of medical waste loss or accidents.

(5) Application in drug management
Current situation: At present, in the pharmaceutical industry, due to the large number of pharmaceutical wholesale companies but small ones, it is difficult to guarantee the quality of pharmaceuticals during storage and transportation. Moreover, drugs lack unified standard coding, and the logistics information system is seriously lagging behind, seriously affecting drug quality supervision and the use of drugs on patients. There is no full-process tracking mechanism in the entire drug circulation link, and there is a lack of traceability management.
After application: Identify physical objects at any stage of the pharmaceutical process from manufacturing to distribution and use to achieve full traceability management. Reduce errors in drug production, distribution, prescription, and medication taking in the medical field, and prevent patients from being given the wrong medicine, or certain expired or counterfeit medicines.


(6) Application in triage
Current situation: Currently, various outpatient triage systems do not solve the problem of empty calls, but they cannot limit patients to a circle, which leads to the phenomenon of empty calls when doctors call numbers.
After application: Through the positioning function of RFID, it can help the system to automatically capture the patient's specific location and notify the system of the patient's status in real time, thus solving the problem of empty calls in the calling system.

(7) Application in infusion
Current situation: Outpatient infusion is an important part of current medical activities. The workload is heavy and the business is busy and trivial. However, once an error occurs, the safety of the patient may be endangered. At the same time, due to the need to receive a large number of patients and their families every day, the outpatient infusion room of the hospital has become a place where people are concentrated and mobile, which brings many difficulties to nursing management. At present, a large number of medical institutions have not implemented digital management, and a few medical institutions have achieved digitalization, but this still does not solve the problem of manual verification when checking patient information during infusion, which inevitably leads to the problem of medical errors.
After application: The unique identification of RFID is used to match personnel and drugs during the infusion process, which reduces medical errors by medical staff; reduces the work pressure of medical staff and improves work efficiency.

3. RFID application prospects
At present, the informatization direction of hospitals is developing in a patient-centered direction, which requires us to strengthen the quality of our medical services on the basis of improving the quality of medical care, and we can solve this problem for us with the help of information means such as RFID. This question. This solves the current problem of lack of visualization, informationization, and traceability management of the entire patient medical treatment process in hospitals. Moreover, the hospital's informatization construction is very scattered. Although most business data are related, traceability is not strong due to differences in structure and storage between systems, making it impossible to make management more standardized, and the process is not highlighted enough. In the medical industry, through the use of RFID technology, especially in the mobile tracking of patients using RFID technology, the patient's actions and status during treatment can be understood in real time, so that patients feel a sense of security, and the hospital can truly achieve patient-centered mobilization. Only with medical resources can the core values ​​of hospital management be effectively realized.


With the development and introduction of RFID technology and the reduction of costs, its application in various industries will become more and more in-depth and widespread, and the application of RFID technology has gradually entered a mature application period. It is foreseeable that RFID technology will have a bright future in the medical information industry.
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