RFID Chips Have Potential To Reduce Waste And Inefficiency In Healthcare Supply Chain
RFID might not have gotten off to the best start when it debuted in retail, but it has since come into its own as an indispensible part of operations for many companies.
Its benefits extend far beyond the retail industry. Its latest area of growth is in the healthcare supply chain sector, where it is being hailed as solution to a number of the challenges the sector has traditionally faced, including reducing unneeded stockpiles and tracking costly devices.
While RFID tags might not provide the best return on investment for inexpensive products like bottles of juice, the high value and sensitive nature of medical devices and pharmaceuticals has made it a very worthwhile venture for those in the health care industry.
This potential is expected to grown even further as Baby Boomers reach their golden years and the Affordable Care Act continues to place downward pressure on prices. The 2013 Drug Supply Chain Security Act has mandated tracing capabilities that RFID seems particularly well-suited to handle.
Hospital Waste At Unsustainable Levels
Statistics show that hospitals throw away one out of every five products because it has either expired or is not suitable to a patient’s needs, which is why the healthcare supply chain is currently facing an amount of waste that cannot be sustained. The lack of shared data and visibility is taking the blame for much of this waste, and that’s a problem that RFID can help solve. For example, “smart shelves” that use RFID to keep track of high-value inventory like pacemakers can keep tabs on metrics such as lot number, UPN, expiration date, and length of time the item has been in inventory.
RFID can also help discourage theft and prevent counterfeiting in the pharmaceutical supply chain, which not only saves money but also improves the experience of patients.
RFID can help the healthcare industry boost its regulatory compliance and keep track of inventory while eliminating waste and increasing visibility, making it a worthwhile investment for the healthcare supply chain.
Learn more about data capture in healthcare.