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Combining barcodes and RFID in a hybrid solution to improve hospital pharmacy logistics processes

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  • Alejandro Romero
  • Elisabeth Lefebvre

Abstract

Previous research tended to focus on the pharmaceutical supply chain and on the medication process; as yet, there is little empirical evidence on the opportunities for improving internal logistics related to hospital pharmacies. This paper focuses on this under-investigated issue. The objectives are two-fold: 1) to assess the current situation; 2) to analyse the benefits derived from the adoption of a track-and-trace solution based on barcodes and/or RFID. The field research was conducted in four North American hospitals and in five external organisations related to the management of medicines. Quantitative and qualitative data was analysed primarily by content analysis and process mapping. The study identifies five levels of medicine packaging and examines the corresponding information that is required at each one. Results demonstrate that the relative importance of the benefits derived from a track-and-trace system differs depending on the chosen configuration: based on barcodes alone, RFID alone or hybrid configurations.

Suggested Citation

  • Alejandro Romero & Elisabeth Lefebvre, 2015. "Combining barcodes and RFID in a hybrid solution to improve hospital pharmacy logistics processes," International Journal of Information Technology and Management, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 14(2/3), pages 97-123.
  • Handle: RePEc:ids:ijitma:v:14:y:2015:i:2/3:p:97-123
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