Jena University Hospital Leads Healthcare Innovation with RFID Solution from SAP

Further demonstrating the added value and innovation of industry-specific applications on the SAP NetWeaver platform, SAP AG announced the implementation of a groundbreaking healthcare solution leveraging SAP software and radio frequency identification (RFID) technology at the University Hospital of Jena, Germany. By applying RFID hardware infrastructure provided by Intel Solution Services – including port scanners, communication and radio devices and RFID tags – the hospital will extend its deployment of SAP NetWeaver, using the platform’s auto-ID infrastructure to identify, track and match medication accurately and in real-time from the hospital’s pharmacy until they are administered to patients. In addition to operating more cost-effectively throughout the whole treatment process, Jena University Hospital aims to increase the service quality in medial care as well as the safety of patients by reducing undesired medication effects.
The announcement was made at the International Forum of Healthcare IT (ITeG), being held in Frankfurt, Germany, May 30–June 1, and at SAP’s international customer conference SAPPHIR’06, being held in Paris, France, May 30 – June 1.
Together with SAP, Jena University Hospital performed a detailed analysis of the three core processes supporting patient medication in order to integrate them into a single RFID-based process. By using passive RFID tags, medication can be tracked in real-time from the hospital’s pharmacy to intensive care and individual patients. Medication will be matched digitally to the individual patient by checking the reference codes on an RFID bracelet worn by the patient. Using handheld scanners, the nursing staff can read these codes, link them to the patient data on file in the hospital’s IT system and gain instant access to detailed information on the patient, displayed on a screen. By gaining the ability to track and match medication throughout the organization in real-time, the hospital aims to reduce the risk of any dispensing errors.
In addition, the system is designed to record all medication in the patient’s file automatically, including details about type, quantity and time of medication. In order to ensure an end-to-end process from the pharmacy to the patient, all unit doses of patient medication, transport boxes of the pharmacy and steel containers of the automatic, internal transport system are to be equipped with RFID tags. The roll-out of the solution will initially encompass 24 beds in intensive care and as a next step be expanded to another 65 treatment units. Jointly implemented by SAP and Intel Solution Services, the RFID infrastructure project is expected to be completed by October 2006.
“International studies reveal that approximately every 20th patient suffers an adverse drug effect, and about 55 percent of these cases could be avoided,“ said Dr. Michael Hartmann, director of the pharmacy at Jena University Hospital and member of the Council of Europe Committee of Experts on pharmaceutical issues. “We have selected SAP technology to expand our existing SAP NetWeaver environment and to enable the innovative use of RFID. This technology will enhance the security of our drug supply chain and reduce potential adverse drug effects.”
In addition to an improved quality of treatment, the RFID infrastructure will help optimize logistics processes and enable demand-driven supply management, thus reducing the amount of capital locked up in the university pharmacy’s inventory. The new infrastructure will enable digital identification and immediate tracing of drugs down to the level of individual unit doses and also alert pharmacy staff as to the expiration dates of medication.
Jena University Hospital also plans to use the new solution to expand its medical expertise. Based on an anonymous documentation of drugs administered to patients, the hospital hopes to discover correlations between disease patterns and potential drug incompatibilities, enabling medical staff to better determine alternative treatments.
“The RFID project at Jena University Hospital is a perfect example of a growing number of innovative applications of RFID that go beyond the retailer and government mandates to drive real business value,” said Dr. Krish Mantripragada, global RFID program director, SAP. “The resulting solution is unique in the market and further validates SAP’s vision of real-world awareness.”

Source: SAP AG