Navigation Links
Barcode Technology Flaws Put Some Patients at Risk
Date:7/3/2008

Nurses forced to use 'workarounds' to ensure medication errors are kept to minimum, study says

THURSDAY, July 3 (HealthDay News) -- Flaws in the design and implementation of barcode systems designed to match hospital patients with the right dose of the right medication can increase the risk of certain medication errors, according to a study that looked at the use of the system in five U.S. hospitals.

The first-of-its-kind study looked at almost half a million instances where nurses and other staff scanned patients and medications. In a remarkably high percentage of instances, nurses overrode the technology in order to compensate for awkward or inconvenient aspects of the barcode systems. Nurses scanning the barcode on the medication or the patient's ID bracelet overrode the system for 4.2 percent of patients charted and 10.3 percent of medications charted.

The researchers identified 31 causes of system problems that prompted "workarounds" by nurses. These included: unreadable medication barcodes (crinkled, smudged, torn, missing, covered by another label); malfunctioning scanners; unreadable or missing patient ID wristbands; non-barcoded medications; medications in distant refrigerators; lost wireless connectivity; problems with patients in contact isolation, and emergencies.

Workarounds used by nurses included: affixing extra copies of patient ID barcodes on desks, scanning machines, clipboards, supply rooms, and doorjambs, as well as carrying several pre-scanned patient medications on one tray.

"It's not that staff are lazy or careless, it's that the system does not work as well as it should. If the refrigerated medication is two floors and a long hallway away, you're not going to wheel your 87-year-old patient to the fridge. You make a copy of her barcode. And while you do that, you help another two patients who also need refrigerated medications," study leader Ross Koppel, of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, said in a prepared statement.

"Bar-coding is still under development," he noted. "Administrators and vendors may expect it to be fool-proof, but users know it's not. It's a very promising technology that still requires constant refining and careful observation of on-the-floor workflow to get it right."

Koppel emphasized that barcode systems do prevent medication errors and save lives. Identifying problems with the systems and mitigating workarounds can make them even more effective. In their study, Koppel and his colleagues made a number of recommendations, and four of the hospitals in the study dramatically reduced the number of workarounds by following these recommendations.

The study was published in the July/August issue of the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association.

More information

The Institute for Safe Medication Practices has information for consumers about medication errors.



-- Robert Preidt



SOURCE: University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, news release, July 1, 2008


'/>"/>
Copyright©2008 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Flaws in the barcoded technology used to reduce medication administration errors identified
2. GHX Mobile Solutions SalesAccelerator Tool Adds Capability to Read RFID Tags, as Well as Barcodes
3. HEALTHCARE TECH AND THE WORLD: A MACRO PERSPECTIVE ON HOW TECHNOLOGY WILL IMPACT HEALTHCARE IN THE FUTURE
4. DOT Therapy: Newest Breakthrough Technology in Laser Skin Resurfacing
5. Breakthrough Technology That Will Revolutionize the Treatment of Tooth Decay
6. MEDai Technology Identifies Prescription Drug Misuse
7. Align Technology to Announce Second Quarter Fiscal 2008 Results on July 29
8. Samplify Systems Announces Distribution Agreement With Tokyo Electron Device Limited, Broadening Availability of Signal Compression Technology
9. BPO Management Services Wins Two New Information Technology Outsourcing Contracts
10. Award-Winning Massachusetts Hospital Selects MedQuist Enterprise Technology for Clinical Documentation and Speech Recognition
11. Toys and technology for rehabilitation in cerebral palsy patients
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/25/2017)... KY (PRWEB) , ... April 25, 2017 , ... ... announce they have signed an agreement to be the preferred physical therapy provider ... injuries and returning them to Derby City CrossFit as quickly and effectively as ...
(Date:4/25/2017)... ... April 25, 2017 , ... ... compare student test score performance for the 2015-16 school year across Wisconsin’s public ... programs. Though it highlights important patterns in student test score performance, the report’s ...
(Date:4/25/2017)... ... 25, 2017 , ... As pharmaceutical companies are held to ... process innovation in drug formulation and manufacturing. CoreRx offers its clients more ... in support of their development and manufacturing goals. , The company was ...
(Date:4/25/2017)... ... April 25, 2017 , ... Saad B. Chaudhary, MD is committed to providing the ... or chronic problems, I focus on preventative care with all my patients to alleviate possible ... questions, always feel free to contact my office and my trained staff will assist you ...
(Date:4/25/2017)... ... April 25, 2017 , ... Vetoquinol USA® , a ... UCII, part of the EQUISTRO line, at this week’s Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event ... the immunologic level. , The scientifically-developed Flexadin UCII supports the body’s normal repair ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:4/20/2017)... , April 20, 2017 NeuroVive ... ("NeuroVive") today announced positive preclinical results demonstrating ... compound for non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), in an ... NV556 has previously shown similar ... model. Today, NeuroVive,s scientists present novel data ...
(Date:4/19/2017)... April 19, 2017  IRIDEX Corporation (Nasdaq: ... results for the first quarter 2017 after the close ... management team will host a corresponding conference call beginning ... Investors interested in listening to the conference call ... callers or (703) 326-3030 for international callers, using conference ...
(Date:4/19/2017)... , April 19, 2017  Sorrento Therapeutics, Inc. ... clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing new treatments for cancer ... closing of its previously announced underwritten public offering ... a public offering price of $2.00 per share, ... offering expenses payable by Sorrento.  The net proceeds ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: