Topics: Nursing, Barcode, Nurse Pages: 3 (1021 words) Published: April 15, 2013
Errors with Barcode Medication Administration
Erin Graham
West Texas A&M

October 02, 2012

Medication errors are among the most significant cause of patient injury in all types of medical errors (Johnson, Carlson, Tucker, & Willette, n.d). In the nursing profession, medication administration errors occur 34% of the time, second only to physician ordering errors (Gooder, 2011). The introduction of information technology, such as the Bar Code Medication Administration (BCMA), offers new opportunities for reducing medication administration errors. BCMA was developed by the Veteran’s Affairs Medical Center in 1998 to help improve the documentation of medication administration, decrease medication errors and provide an accountability date profile (Johnson et al., n.d).

Errors with Barcode Medication Administration
It has been proven that medication errors may occur 34% of the time during administration and most often include patient injury (Gooder, 2011). Medication administration is a fundamental nursing responsibility, as well as ensuring patient safety when administering medications (Nursing Practice Act). The introduction of the Bar Code Medication Administration (BCMA) was designed to promote safe medication practices offers new opportunities for reduction and/or prevention of medication administration errors. The BCMA system has been used by the Veteran’s Affairs Medical Center since 1999 with great success. It is a wireless, clinical information system accessible via computer that can be moved from one patient room to another, equipped with a keyboard and hand- held scanner. Studies done at a Pennsylvania hospital showed a 86.5% accuracy rate before the implementation of the BCMA system and a 97% accuracy rate after BCMA was introduced ("Pennsylvania Patient Safety Advisory," 2008). This system, however, does not come without failure and most often the failure is not the technology of the system but the misuse of the...
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