RFID usage for monitoring drug dispensing in hospitals
Medication errors during drug dispensing are common problems in healthcare and can cause serious problems both for patients and staff. Many information systems have been developed to prevent that the occurrence of such errors. However, poorly designed and developed computer systems may prove to be useless or difficult to use.
In this design science research, we have built a simple drug dispensing and administrating model to analyse possible errors. Based on that model, we designed and developed a prototype software application that utilise UHF RFID technology and can be used to monitor drug dispensing and administrating in a simulated hospital environment.
We have also designed and carried out experiments based on the drug dispensing model. Relevant data was collected during the experiments and processed by the purposely developed software application system. The generated detection graphs allowed the identification and analysis of errors that occurred during the simulations. This proved that the RFID technology can help to detect and understand medication errors. However, the low detection performance for shorter small time periods such as 10sec and some hardware related problems pose certain challenges to the design and development of RFID-based systems.