Hospitals are using RFID technology to keep track of heart stents and balloons. They are not inexpensive items by any means and neither are the pacemakers. This is something the retail business has done for years. This way there’s no missing medical devices for scheduled procedures. Some stents are drug coated and have limited shelf life as well. Software also tracks usage, and thus the hospitals are able to keep on top of inventory and it also projects what may be needed in the future based on procedure trends. For keeping track of heart stents, RFID surely looks to be a real winner all the way around. BD
But behind UMass Memorial's bricks and mortar, an effort is underway to trim costs by using radio frequency identification, or RFID. It might save lives and money, by preventing medical mistakes and speeding the recall of defective products. In UMass Memorial's shiny, four-year-old catheterization laboratory, supply chain coordinator Raul Navarro slaps RFID tags onto boxes containing stents and balloons for use in the department's procedure rooms.