Pevco Releases White Paper Comparing Tracking Technologies for Hospital Pneumatic Tube Systems

Barcode technology surpasses RFID as low cost, easy to implement solution

Baltimore, MD (September 26, 2013) –Pevco, a U.S. manufacturer focused exclusively on pneumatic tube systems for hospitals, today released a white paper comparing the two leading tube system tracking technologies – barcoding and radio frequency identification (RFID).

The white paper, titled “Tracking Medical Items Sent in a Pneumatic Tube System: Barcode Technology Delivers Where RFID Falls Short,” defines the role of barcode and RFID technology in tube system tracking. It is intended to provide answers for the healthcare professionals interested in tracking pharmaceuticals, specimens and blood components. These medical items are sent via tube systems millions of times each day in hospitals throughout the U.S. and Canada. Hospital administrators have a need to track the items since misplacing them causes a delay in patient care and unwanted replacement costs.

In this white paper, Pevco shares:

  • The way in which existing technologies – barcode and RFID – are utilized to address the tracking of valuable items
  • A comparison of the two technologies that focuses on cost, implementation and the type of data that is captured
  • An analysis of how the implementation of each technology can affect patient care

The white paper concludes that barcoding is the current preferred technology used for tracking items in pneumatic tube systems. A driving factor is the recent FDA mandate that all pharmaceuticals and blood components be barcoded. The paper argues that this regulation – along with the minimal cost of barcodes as compared to RFID chips – decreases costs and eases the implementation of barcode tracking.

An in-depth discussion of how the technologies are used in relation to pneumatic tube system tracking follows, describing the limitations of the way RFID technology is utilized at present. The paper offers several reasons barcode technology currently better serves the needs of hospital staff members who depend on pneumatic tube systems.

“We developed this white paper to help meet the needs of our customers and prospects,” said Steve Dahl, Pevco’s director of product development & marketing. “Healthcare professionals tell us over and over that the ability to accurately track items sent through a pneumatic tube system is among their top priorities.”

A downloadable PDF of Pevco’s white paper can be accessed here.

About Pevco
Pevco designs, manufactures, installs and supports hospital pneumatic tube systems that enable healthcare professionals to quickly, safely and reliably transport patient-critical materials between labs, pharmacies, blood banks, ORs, EDs and nursing stations.

Used by more than 600 leading hospitals, Pevco’s flexible, intelligent products consistently reduce operating costs and are compatible with all competing pneumatic tube systems. Pevco was founded in 1978 and is headquartered in Baltimore, with support staff positioned throughout North America. To learn more, visit

Tara Cellinese
Marketing Communications Manager