The role of technology has dramatically advanced over the past few decades. The capacity to store, distribute, and evaluate health information is inextricably linked to advancements in technology. The utilization of technology and innovation expands provider skills and patient access while also improving the standard of living and saving lives for certain patients. Through enhanced technologies such as Bar code systems and telemedicine, we are entering an age where doctors and nurses can promote patient care. Below is the FAQ for additional clarifications.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why do you need this change?
The use of Bar code system for medication is a critical change for healthcare, and it provides the best patient experience and minimizes mistakes done during patient therapy. Bar code systems are medication administration systems that use barcodes to eliminate human error in the delivery of prescription medicines in hospitals by electronically verifying and recording treatments. Bar code systems are critical as it aims to ensure that patients get the recommended medications at the appropriate time (Darawad et al., 2019). The information included in barcodes enables the medicine being given to be compared to what was prescribed for the patient. For example, if a patient is prescribed Aricept, the system will prevent a mis-medication using Memantine. Medication errors often lead to accelerated effects on the patient and sometimes cause death if patients are diagnosed with inappropriate medication.
How does the use of Bar codes promote a culture of excellence?
By cross-checking the medication to be administered to the patient, the nurses’ confidence in dealing with emergencies and patients in critical conditions such as those in the ICU is significantly boosted. It will help reduce risks to patients since some medications may have accelerated consequences if wrongly administered (Maydana et al., 2017). For instance, the use of Haldol in elderly patients is prohibitied, and yet keeps getting administered by mistake.
What we currently use works well; why change now?
Research conducted by the United States Veterans administration on the Bar code system promises to decrease prescription mistakes. The Eastern Kansas Medical System and Colmery-O’Neil Veteran Health Center in Topeka, Kansas, developed and implemented the BMCA system. The Veterans Affairs Administration deployed the system at 161 sites from 1999 to 2001 have. Since then, it has increased customer confidence and improved nurses’ engagement while caring for patients (Maydana et al., 2017). Additionally, barcode drug administration systems have proven beneficial for inventory management, simplifying invoicing, and reducing time at the pharmacy and bedside (Maydana et al., 2017). Our organization could also benefit from the reduction of these mistakes, which are currently above zero.
As a nurse, how will this new piece of equipment help me better my professional role?
Using a bar code system for medication is essential for nurses to increase their efficiency and communication. While some nurses are opposed to new technology, claiming that it eliminates human contact at the bedside, a study of 600 nurses found that 82 percent think technology improves patient care (Darawad et al., 2019). For example, it will also help reduce time spent inlining to verify the drugs to be administered to the patient; hence, many patients, especially those with emergency health conditions, are taken care of without risking inappropriate medication. The utilization of these technological improvements becomes efficient as it solves the problem of the shortage of nurses in a particular healthcare facility.
In conclusion, even though the utilization of Bar code systems for medication may have several challenges, its benefits in ensuring patient satisfaction, boosting nursing experience, and reducing human errors have proved critical in healthcare. It is the responsibility of the healthcare providers to ensure the adoption of modern technologies for better performance.
Darawad, M. W., Othman, E. H., & Alosta, M. R. (2019). Nurses’ satisfaction with barcode medication‐administration technology: Results of a cross‐sectional study. Nursing & health sciences, 21(4), 461-469. Web.
Maydana, T., Giraldo, L., González, Z., Schachner, B., Mayan, J., Luna, D., & Benítez, S. (2017). BarCode medication administration in ICU: learning from our nurses. In MEDINFO 2017: Precision Healthcare through Informatics (pp. 1095-1098). IOS Press.