Thousands of people die each year from preventable medical errors, but a Louisiana hospital has found a way to cut those statistics and save lives.
Barcode technology that you’ve seen thousands of times at your local grocery store is now transforming the way medication is delivered in hospitals.
Bedside medication verification, or BMV, uses barcode scanning at the patient’s bedside to provide immediate confirmation that the right person is getting the right medication.
“You scan the barcode and it brings up the medication that is attached to that patient and you scan the medication – and if that medication is not on the patient’s profile, it will give the nurse a warning,” said hospital nurse Tamica Francois.
Since timing and dosage instructions are critical for patient medication, this linked system streamlines all of that information to one place.
“It already has the time that the medication is due right here, so it will compare those two times, and it also already has the dosage of the medication that’s put in through pharmacy,” said Francois.
The BMV system allows nurses to safely administer patient medication without the risk of common errors.
“The errors occur when the medication orders are written. Sometimes they occur when nurses or respiratory therapists are administering the medication,” Francois explained.
Since the BMV’s implementation, Francois says the hospital has already seen a decrease in medication errors.