The Implementation Process of Bar-Coding for Medication

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Abstract
Serious medication errors are common in hospitals and often occur during order transcription or administration of medication. To help prevent such errors, bar coding technology has been put into place. The software was designed to improve medication administration accuracy and to generate online patient medication records. Barcode Medication Administration software enables users to document electronic administration of medications at bedside. Millions of Americans are injured each year due to medication errors. Within the hospital systems, medication errors cost over three billion dollars per year. Nurses are at the frontline of medication administration. At a three hundred-bed community, hospital bar coding administration was implemented. This application was created and implemented by an IT representative, staff nurses, nursing and pharmacy administrators. These individuals initiated the process, by changing medication policies and procedures, downtime procedures, workflow designs, planning for nursing training, and changes to medication administration. With positive results bar-cod technology reduced medication errors by eighty percent. Implementing barcoding technology decreases medication administration errors in with in different care settings. Key words: Bar coding; Medication errors; Safety.

Medications errors continue to happen on the daily basis regardless of where you work. The effects on giving the wrong medication can result from mild to severe injures including death. “Approximately 1.5 million Americans are injured each year because of medication errors” (Coleman & Foote, 2008). Errors can occur throughout the process of ordering medicine, dispensing, retrieving and administrating. Bar coding is the new technique which can offer safe and allow nurses to verify the five rights of medication administration. A handheld barcode device is used to scan barcoded information on the nurse’s badge, patient’s armband ID and...
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