Monday, May 10, 2010

Effect of Bar-Code Technology on the Safety of Medication Administration

There's a great article in the The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) titled, "Effect of Bar-Code Technology on the Safety of Medication Administration." The use of technology in hospitals can significantly reduce medical errors.
Background: Serious medication errors are common in hospitals  and often occur during order transcription or administration  of medication. To help prevent such errors, technology has been  developed to verify medications by incorporating bar-code verification technology within an electronic medication-administration system (bar-code eMAR).

Conclusions: Use of the bar-code eMAR substantially reduced the rate of errors in order transcription and in medication administration as well as potential adverse drug events, although it did not eliminate such errors. Our data show that the bar-code eMAR is an important intervention to improve medication safety. (ClinicalTrials.gov  number, NCT00243373 [ClinicalTrials.gov] .)
You can access the The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) abstract here: http://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/short/362/18/1698

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