Connect RFID and barcodes to improve the safety of Drug Delivery System

Taipei Hospital, Department of Health has used Radio-frequency identification (RFID) in eleven Medical Technology Systems since October 2009, and one of the systems is drug delivery system. Department of pharmacy used to follow the standard operating procedure of general hospital that cannot avoid potential risks in drug delivery works in hospital. After using RFID, the records showed that the safety of drug use for outpatient services and inpatients has obviously improved.

About drug delivery system of drug use safety for inpatients, nursing staffs would use PDA while drug given in the sickroom with computers, monitors and wireless nursing trolleys. Scan barcodes on drug pouches and the hand bands with RFID labeled on patients to check drug contents and patients’ ID by PDA reading RFID and barcodes. Many hospitals have used to confirm that patients fit in with therapeutic agents before drug delivery, but seldom to reconfirm the drug-given people. Because of the RFID hand bands on patients are the critical points for the confirmation,

Taipei Hospital, Department of Health has used this in medical facilities to connect RFID and bar cords to give a drug correctly.

About the safety of drug use for outpatients, it uses Quick Response code (QR code) to combine verification, blending, approval and drug delivery. When doctors give the prescriptions, the pharmacists who take charge of verification in department of pharmacy would scan QR code on prescriptions, and make sure the new indications, strengths, drug-drug interactions, dosing frequency, and the amount of therapeutic agents are correct. Second, the pharmacists work in blending would blend the agents. And then pharmacists who are held responsible for confirmation of agents will scan the QR code on drug bags to check whether the drug information in computer and blending agents are the same or not. Before give the therapeutic agents to patients, drug-given pharmacists would scan barcodes on prescriptions to confirm patients’ ID. Next, to check QR code on drug bags read the same drugs as prescriptions to ensure the safety on people and on drugs. Patients could inquire drugs on machine by IR scanning of QR code on drug bags to get detailed information and understand the drugs they take.

The medical application design for connecting RFID and barcodes with multiple checkpoints will let department of pharmacy catch the newest information of medicine on-line at any time, assist pharmacists to avoid the drug-given mistakes of the difference between blending drugs from prescriptions which doctors had changed again, and reduce drugs’ waiting time for outpatients and inpatients on management level.

Based on the estimation of every items of the internal certification in hospital, it has shown that the decreasing of the ratio of drug-given mistakes, the improvement of the work efficiency for scanning barcodes in replace of handwriting, and the achievement of objectives in patients safety for the drug use safety and healthcare quality. Many

medical units of domestic and foreign had visited after RFID implement for one year, and the systems are positively approved.

Connect RFID and barcodes to improve the safety of Drug Delivery System