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RFID-Enabled Traceability System for Consignment and High Value Products: A Case Study in the Healthcare Sector

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This paper presents a case study of a hospital operating room that evaluated a Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID)-enabled traceability system for the management of consignment and high value products requiring item level traceability. Results indicate that the traceability system in conjunction with the redesign of replenishment processes facilitates item level traceability, improves financial controls and case costing, upgrades service levels and reduces inventory shrinkage. Other benefits include time saved from non-value-added activities that can be transferred to patient care activities. The solution can be considered (i) as an alternative to RFID-enabled cabinets used in the replenishment of consignment and high value supplies in certain operating rooms, cardiac catheterization laboratories and interventional radiology departments, or (ii) as a complementary solution facilitating the tracking of medical devices removed from RFID-enabled cabinets. In short, the end-to-end traceability of medical products in the healthcare supply chain can be significantly enhanced.

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Association for healthcare resource & materials management


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American national standards institute


Business process reengineering


Centre hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal


Clinical management software


Electronic data interchange


Electromagnetic interference


Electronic product code


Enterprise resource planning


High frequency


Health industry business communications council


Hospital information system


Inter-organizational system


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Net present value


Operating room


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The authors are grateful to (i) the CHUM for providing access to the field of research and for their time in reviewing the paper, (ii) the team of Logi-D for their immense support in this research and for providing us access to all relevant data to build the business case (iii) the reviewers for their useful comments on the first version of the paper. This article is an updated and extended version of a shorter paper presented at The Fifth International Workshop on RFID Technology—Concepts, Applications, Challenges (IWRT 2011) in Niagara Falls, Canada [43].

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Correspondence to Ygal Bendavid.

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Bendavid, Y., Boeck, H. & Philippe, R. RFID-Enabled Traceability System for Consignment and High Value Products: A Case Study in the Healthcare Sector. J Med Syst 36, 3473–3489 (2012).

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