The goal of error reduction and substantially increased productivity and accuracy can be achieved through a system-focused approach that reduces reliance on human data entry and human double-checking through increased use of computer technology. Information technology improves the quality, safety, and efficiency of health care and hospital processes. Reducing medication errors, including drug mistake and dosage error can be due to the use of information technology in hospital processes. One potential way to reduce such errors is through the use of wristband bar-code medication scanning technology. In the US, approximately 24% of the hospitals have implemented this technology to verify patient identification and it has been steadily increasing.
Wristband bar-code medication scanning noticeably reduces medication errors (unauthorized drug, wrong form, wrong dose, wrong route, extra dose, and omission), length of hospitalization and additional costs. Wristband bar-code medication scanning is effective in the process of physician ordering, pharmacy dispensary and medication administration by nurses. Moreover, this technology ensures the patient’s safety in laboratory, and assists nurses in confirming the patients’ identification.
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In total, wristband bar-code medication scanning, as a new technology, can prevent ME in more settings and it can be developed and distributed in hospitals for the improvement of patients’ safety. It leads to a decrease in hospital costs, improved quality and higher patient satisfaction. Since compliance with the bar code system has been very high with a low frequency of failure and it is accepted by the staff, it can be used in hospitals for improving the quality of services. Also, it is very likely to be safer than the prior manual system. Therefore, it is recommended that an international guideline should be developed to use bar-codes for the patients’ identification in hospitals.
Besides, the use of bar codes is applicable in operation rooms and it is suitable for all wards of hospital, especially in critical care wards. This technology has little errors and it can be useful in health systems for increasing the patients’ safety.
On the other hand, the implementation of wristband bar-code medication scanning not only reduce incidence of medication administration errors, but also has important implications for nursing workflow. Moreover, wristband bar-code medication scanning can decrease around 25% of nursing work time spent on medication-related activities. According to benefits of this technology; therefore, it is recommended that hospital managers and policy makers should pay more attention to proper use of it in hospitals.