Improving the Logistics Operations of the Hospital Pharmacy Using a Barcode-Rfid Identification System

Conference paper


Medicine represents a critical component of healthcare but impacts negatively the quality of healthcare systems because it faces serious issues such as medical errors, adverse impacts on the environment and the growing presence of counterfeit products. Despite medicines specifications and inefficiencies could contribute to their increasing cost in the healthcare sector, very little research has been published on the main issues affecting the management of medicines and how technology systems could collaborate to improve their management. Within the scope of this paper, we will concentrate on analyzing the main inefficiencies of logistics processes executed by the hospital pharmacy and identifying how an RFID-barcode identification system could improve pharmacy operations. Based on process mapping and qualitative data obtained from semi-structured interviews, this paper describes six main inefficiencies namely incorrect inventory management, medicine shrinkage, intensive manual labor, long procurement cycles, time-consuming product recalls and improper use of technology. By identifying cases and bundles with RFID technologies and primary and secondary packages with barcode labels, hospital pharmacy could ensure that medicines don’t affect severely the sustainability of healthcare system in general and the patient security in particular.


Barcode Logistics process Pharmacy hospital Process mapping RFID technology Supply chain management 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Université du Québec à Trois-RivièresTrois-RivièresCanada

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