Patient barcoding introduced to curb medication errors

Colorado hospital uses coded bracelets to monitor drugs, dosages, and timing

By Healthcare Facilities Today
September 13, 2013

Starting this month at The Memorial Hospital in Craig, Colo., patients will be given a few different wristbands when they're admitted. One will be bar-coded for bedside scanning. According to an article in the Craig Press, this means a potentially safer hospital visit.

"Barcode scanning addresses the 5 Rs or rights of administering medications: right patient, right drug, right dose, right route and right time. Barcode scanning increases patient safety by verifying that medications about to be administered are correct and ordered by the patient’s physician," said Dr. Kyle Miller, director of pharmacy at TMH.

According to the article, when a patient is admitted to TMH they will receive a wristband with barcodes that provide an electronic link to their health record. Then, each time they receive a medication, the nurse scans the wristband, scans the medication and enters the information.

A record of the transactions made at the same time the nurse verifies that the drug administered is the right one and the right dose - given at the right time. The nurse also has access to information on the patient's personal history with medications, including reactions or restrictions.

Read the article.


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