[Podcast] Vision and Visibility: RFID’s Emergence in Healthcare

Recently, DoseID’s president, Tim Kress-Spatz, discussed RFID’s promise in downstream supply-chain tracking, the importance of interoperability in tracing drugs, reducing the inventory management burden for hospitals, and more on The Pharmaceutical Commerce Podcast.

This wide ranging discussion included:

Increase in Market Demand for RFID

RFID (radio frequency identification) tagged medications are gaining traction again in the pharmaceutical supply chain. Initially, many hospitals did not want to take on the added costs of these RFID tagged medications, but they know there is a long list of benefits that can be realized, driving adoption in the marketplace over the last 5-10 years. By thinking about the “total cost of ownership” for a drug, these benefits start to make more economic sense. When the cost of labor and time savings alone are added up, RFID provides significant savings relative to the workflows associated with many medications.

DoseID’s Focus on the Advancement of RFID in Healthcare

The Alliance is focused on quality, interoperability, and creating a standard for RFID to be used in healthcare. If you look at DoseID’s members today, there are a variety of supply chain participants including pharmaceutical manufacturers, 503B compounders, vendors of technology and automation systems for hospitals, RFID inlay and IC manufacturers, label converters, and others. To create a complete and usable standard, you need different representatives for each stage of the RFID lifecycle. Over the past decade, we’ve learned lessons and developed best practices as a result of experiencing quality issues, supplies and material stockouts, backlogs, and ill-conceived implementations. It’s not enough to add the RFID to a drug; you need to ensure reliable, high quality manufacturing; good performance for the end-user; and a system that allows for easy, modern software integrations. The goal is to create a playbook that can be used in the industry, ensuring the best possible experience for our customers.

The Voice of the Hospital

DoseID initially focused on building up its membership of industry participants to ensure that we had the right people in the room to enact change, and that these changes are what our hospital customers want. The addition of hospital members is crucial to our mission of advancing RFID and creating a standard. Our industry members want to understand the challenges that hospital staff — including Directors of Pharmacy, Pharmacy Buyers, and Pharmacy Technicians — face when managing their medication inventory. The Alliance is also looking at new use cases like tracking vaccines through distribution and use.