Improve Accuracy and Efficiency of Medication Administration
To avoid the incidence of errors, health care providers need to make sure every time the right medication and treatment is given to the right patient, in the right dose, at the right time and through the right route of administration. However, since the medication and treatment administration is a complex multistep process that encompasses prescribing, transcribing, dispensing, administering and monitoring patient response, the error might happen at any step, and sometimes it is inevitable since all the processes are operated manually.
In order to reduce errors during administration, many technological solutions have been developed, and among them, barcode and RFID technology have been proved as a promising approach for preventing medication errors. A study conducted in 2010 found that barcode usage prevented about 90000 serious medical errors each year and reduced mortality rate by 20%.
How does barcode / RFID technology improve the medication administration exactly?
Before starting the care, nurse can check all the pending orders on their handheld computers. (All the orders are accepted directly from the physician order entry system.) When a patient is due for a medication, the nurse opens the corresponding patient information page to check the details and requirements of that order. All the information, including the patient's name, bed number, medication name, strength and dosage, route and dose frequency, will be clearly displayed. Nurse can do the dispensing accordingly, with an improved efficiency, and a higher accuracy.
At the bedside, scan the patient's wristband (Barcode or RFID) and scan the barcode label on every single medication dose or infusion bottle. If the dose being scanned corresponds to an approved medication order and patient is due for this dose, then the nurse can proceed to administer the medication or injection, otherwise the application will issue a warning and stop the process. This step can effectively prevent medication errors and ensure each medication and treatment are given to the exactly right patient.
During the administration, all the information, including the time and status of the implementation, the drugs have been taken, and who administered the medication will all be automatically documented, and transferred to the backstage system simultaneously, so nurse do not need to record those information each time manually. This brings more convenience, accountability and effectively avoids the possibility of human error during recording.