Development of radio frequency identification (RFID)-based drug management and monitoring system, case of public hospitals in Tanzania
Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) is the wireless technology which uses radio frequency waves to transfer data for the purpose of automatic identification and tracking the intended objects. Recently, the adoption of Radio frequency technology in health sector has been a field of major interest due to automatic data capturing and processing capability of the technology. RFID consists of reader and tag; the reader is used to capture information stored in tag and transfer it to the enterprise information system. RFID has recently been applied in hospitals to control and track hospital inventories, supply chain management and medication error controlling. However, the process is being done manually; paper-based documentation and records keeping are used. This manual work consumes time and resources which in turn presents difficulties during tracking and auditing. This scenario has therefore caused occurrence of incidences of drug theft and diversion by unfaithful health workers. In lieu of that, a system for management and monitoring the pharmaceutical supplies in hospital environment has been developed, in this study. The research started with review and analysis of the existing system and procedure in hospital pharmacy management and monitoring to exploit potential gap to be fulfilled by the proposed research. Then, the analysis of the problem domain was carried out to identify the system requirements that were used to design and implement RFID based drug monitoring and management system. The developed system was implemented and validated.