Bar Code Scanning and Patient Safety

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  • Topic: Barcode, Patient, Patient safety
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  • Published : February 27, 2013
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Bar Code Scanning and Patient Safety
Phyllis Harman
University of Southern Indiana

Bar Code Scanning and Patient Safety
The following paper explores eight published articles that address the issue of bar code scanning for medication administration and patient safety. Online research was conducted to locate and review articles which are included in review of literature, and to acquire accurate information addressing the issues discussed. The understanding of Bar Code Scanning for Medication Administration (BCMA) is a valuable tool, providing safe practice needed to reduce medication errors leading to safer patient handling. Patient safety is defined by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) as the prevention of harm caused by errors of commission and omission (Henneman, 2010, p. 8). The use of BCMA changed medication administration, documentation, and communication regarding patient care (Spetz, Burgress, & Phibbs, 2012, p. 158). Key words: bar code scanning of medications, patient safety and workarounds Issues

1. Discuss bar code scanning in medication administration (BCMA). 2. Discuss how the use of BCMA has affected patient safety. 3. Discuss the implications of workarounds in medication administration to the patient. Literature Review

Discuss How the Use of BCMA has Affected Patient Safety
The following articles were reviewed for the purpose of addressing the issue: how BCMA has affected patient safety. Patient safety has been an issue in all realms of healthcare. The use of BCMA introduced a new avenue to establish the best practice of drug administration for patient safety. “Medication Administration: The Implementation Process of Bar-Coding for Medication Administration to Enhance Medication Safety” (Foote & Coleman, 2008) discusses the issue of patient safety with the use of BCMA. According to (Foote & Coleman, 2008, p. 207) medication errors strike at the heart of being a nurse: the value of “do no harm”. The reduction of medication errors has had a direct and indirect effect on the patient and the nurse (Foote & Coleman, 2008, p. 207). The direct effect can be a safety threat to the patient and an indirect effect can compromise the confidence of nursing practice (Foote & Coleman, 2008, p207). The use of BCMA has increased patient safety by system validation of the six rights of medication administration: right drug, right patient, right time, right route, right route, and right reason. The findings concluded patient safety has increased with the use of BCMA. Reduction of paperwork using BCMA for the nurse allows for more time with the patient reducing the risk for error. “Impact of BCMA on Medication Errors and Patient Safety: A Summary” (Marini & Hasman, 2009) was also reviewed. The Institute of Medicine (IOM) estimates that one hospitalized patient is on average subject to one medication error per day. Medication errors that result in preventable adverse drug events may occur during any stage of the medication use process: ordering (56%) transcribing (6%) dispensing (4%) and administration (34%). The use of BCMA has addressed the issue of medication administration safety as a priority for patient safety (Marini & Hasman, 2009, p. 439). BCMA system use has decreased the errors in the administration phrase by possibly intercepting administration errors before they reach the patient (Marini & Hasman, 2009, p. 439). Enacting the BCMA technology into patient care has acted as a point of care safety system that assists in the protection from potential errors and safeguards the medication administration process where none previously existed (Marini & Hasman, 2009, p. 440). Safeguards that have been put in place since the implication of BCMA into the healthcare field have shown from this article that safe practice has increased. The article, “Patient Misidentifications Caused by Errors in Standard Bar Code Technology (Snyder, Carter, Jenkins, & Fantz,...
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