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North York General Hospital Uses RFID to Increase Accuracy and Efficiency in Pharmacy Ops

North York General HospitalNorth York General Hospital, a well respected medical hospital in Toronto, Ontario has deployed an RFID Kit and Tray Management System to leverage RFID (radio frequency identification) technology for its medication management solution to improve accuracy and efficiency within the hospital’s pharmacy operations.

A quality study conducted by North York General Hospital and MEPS Real-Time, Inc., confirmed the hospital’s registered pharmacy technicians were able to achieve 100 percent accuracy when restocking medication trays using the Intelliguard® Kit and Tray Management System, reducing medication errors and improving patient safety.

Edith M. Rolko, Director of Pharmacy and Infection Prevention and Control at North York General Hospital, will be presenting the complete findings of the quality study at the Canadian Society of Hospital Pharmacists’ Seminar in Banff, Alberta, on March 20 at the Kinnear Centre.

“Improving patient safety is the primary goal of the pharmacy department at North York General Hospital,” said Rolko. “Our quality study provided quantitative data to show how an automated system for restocking medications can significantly reduce the risk of medication errors and, in turn, improve patient safety. The MEPS Real-Time, Inc. automated Intelliguard® Kit and Tray Management System will play an important role in keeping patients safe and improving efficiencies within the pharmacy and clinical areas.”

In Canada, the role of a pharmacy technician has expanded to include more technical aspects of drug distribution in a hospital setting. With that in mind, the quality study measured registered pharmacy technicians’ error rates and time to complete the restocking processes with and without an automated system. With the automated Intelliguard® Kit and Tray Management System, technicians were able to achieve 100 percent accuracy in all of the 16 tray studies.

Based on the lowest percentage of tray errors recorded using the current manual method, multiplied over the hospital’s annual tray exchange quantity, it is estimated the MEPS Real-time’s RFID Kit and Tray Management System will eradicate a minimum of 2,664 tray errors annually.

“The quality study conducted with North York General Hospital confirms the clear and distinct benefits of using an RFID-based medication management solution to eliminate medication errors in tray restocking and increase staff efficiency within the hospital pharmacy,” said Shariq Hussain, CEO, MEPS Real-Time, Inc. “Our Intelliguard® Kit and Tray Management System provides a fast, accurate, reliable and easy-to-use solution for managing tray restocking so clinicians have access to critical medications when and where they are needed throughout the hospital.”

While staff time savings was not an objective, the quality study also revealed that the RFID Kit and Tray Management System saved between two and 14 minutes per tray processed, depending upon the number of items in each type of tray. On average, time savings per tray equaled 4.9 minutes, totaling an expected 659 hours of annual staff time savings.

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