You may know RFID (radio frequency identification) as a theft prevention system in libraries and stores. It’s also used for key cards and to check the stock of some hotel mini-bars.
The University of Maryland Medical Center is now the first hospital to use a new application of RFID technology to scan the content of hospital crash carts, which carry medications that are critical during life-threatening emergencies.
The system, called Kit Check, scans an opened crash cart tray in about 10 seconds, identifying medications that are missing or will expire soon. The pharmacist then restocks the tray and scans it again in the specially designed scanning station (which looks a small cabinet or pizza oven) to verify that all items are present and up-to-date.
Want to see it in action? Check out the video at the top of this post.
Each medication has an RFID tag, allowing the entire tray to be scanned and verified quickly, virtually eliminating the chance for human error and removing the need to hand-check each tray twice.