Rugged Laptop and Barcode Scanner Address 5 Rights of Medication Safety Requirement

Posted February 23, 2011


Five Rights healthcare solution

Executive Summary

University Community Health was in search of a 2D barcode scanner that could interact with its Panasonic Toughbook T8 to increase point-of-care safety and ensure the Five Rights initiative – right patient, right drug, right time, right dose, and right form. The solution replaces a pen and paper process with the introduction of a software driver, customized by BarcodesInc, which allows the Honeywell 2D barcode scanners to communicate with the Panasonic Toughbooks.

Challenge

Driven by hospital specific directives to ensure the right hospital staff was prescribing the right medication to the right patients, hospitals are beginning to invest in barcode-based systems to ensure patient charting is performed electronically.

For patients being administered several forms of medication, healthcare providers routinely deployed a pen and paper patient charting solution that resulted in manual errors ranging from incorrect prescriptions provided to patients to unqualified hospital personnel administering medication. Due to a limited write space available on patient charts, the net result was an ineffective pen and paper process that was incapable of generating specific history of what hospital professional administered what dose at what time, thus reducing patient safety.

University Community Health Hospital decided to invest in an electronic solution to replace patient charts, including the capability to reduce manual errors and increase its space capability by providing nurses with Panasonic Toughbooks. However, the nurses soon realized that the solution, although safer for patients, was very tedious and demanded more time with each patient. Hospital employees were still required to include as much, if not more, patient information, as well as detailing all medication administered at precise times to each patient.

University Community Health was in search of a quicker, more effective solution that would not compromise its patients’ safety.

Solution

In response to the hospital’s need for a more effective solution, BarcodesInc customized a software driver that would allow the Panasonic T8 Toughbooks to interface with the Honeywell 4600g HD and 4820HDHM barcode scanners. This solution allowed nurses the ability to scan all medication and patient information, while eliminated the requirement to manually input all the information into the Toughbooks. The solution is designed to allow nurses to scan a medication and patient wristband to ensure that the right prescription is going to the right patient. Additionally, after the patient consumes the right medication, the nurse validates that it has been administered by once again scanning the patient’s wristband.

BarcodesInc designed an exclusive solution to merge the capabilities of the 2D Honeywell barcode scanners and Panasonic Toughbooks to create a simple, cost-effective, and time-efficient way of administering medicine to patients.

Benefits

After a successful development of the software driver and testing, University Community Health is ready to deploy the new 2D patient safety solution within the hospital.

The new solution will deliver impressive patient safety metrics, while reducing the process of administering medication from hours to minutes. By reducing the number of manual errors, nurses are able to deliver safer and more efficient care without having to worry about medication errors and long-term effects on patients.

Future

The BarcodesInc solution, which includes the required customized software driver, is already gaining demand from several hospitals that currently utilize Panasonic Toughbooks or are looking for a paperless way to safely administer prescription drugs.

Filed under: BarcodesInc,Case Studies
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