Barcode technology helps hospitals to reduce the number of medication errors. Earlier the incidents such as patient was affected after receiving the wrong medication or dosage from a hospital, increased. When barcode technology started in hospital then such incidents were reduced. Generally, errors happened when:
- Drugs are stocked improperly by pharmacists.
- when nurses neglect to check treatments.
- Physicians write the medication order illegibly.
Every one is familiar with barcodes on different products. Items, their prices are identified by the black and white vertical lines and it will make check out process fast and accurately. Barcodes are used in hospitals also. Patients wear a bracelet which contains a barcode on it. Nurses can get quick access to patients’ medication profiles and any allergies to medication by scanning barcode labels with hand held barcode scanner device.
Using barcode system helps to prevent the medication errors. Barcodes are used by nurses to confirm patient and medication orders, so that they can give the medication at scheduled time. The scanner notifies the nurse, if the medication does not match with the electronic profile of patient.
Medications are distributed from a unique dispensary machine. Nurses should identify themselves by the fingerprints to access the medications. Barcode of the patient is scanned to find out the correct medication and dose. The machine will track while medications are delivered. Doctors orders are integrated by the computerized physician order entry system electronically into the process. Errors are reduced by this and timeliness of orders are improved.
Finally, the main motto is safety of the patient in hospitals. So, using this barcode technology has reduced the errors and improve the safety of the patient.