Pharmaceutical companies release hundreds of new drugs to the market every year. The number of Americans using prescriptions is increasing rapidly as the population ages, but there is one method that hospitals have yet to implement nationwide in order to reduce hundreds of cases of patient suffering.
It’s not a new drug or a new treatment. It’s a bar code. Yes, the same type you see in the supermarket. Several hospitals have already adopted systems that include a bar code on a patient’s ID bracelet, but there is no requirement to do so.
A bar code implements several safety protocols before administering drugs, including:
- Scanning and matching the medication with the patient id bracelet.
- Scanning barcodes on patient wristbands assures positive patient identification.
Hospitals that do not use the bar codes leave a lot of room for medication errors. A bar code is one step to making reducing the amount of medication mistakes.
Medication errors harm thousands in the U.S. every year
Medication errors remain an ongoing problem in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports 82 percent of U.S. adults take at least one medication and $3.5 billion is spent annually on drug-related injuries.
Bar code medication administration systems can improve medication safety by verifying that the right drug is being administered to the right patient.
Bar code systems reduce hospital error rates
According to the New England Journal of Medicine, bar-code systems have substantially reduced the error rates in medication administration as well as potential adverse drug events.
Barcode technology has only recently been used for patient safety in hospitals, but it has shown impressive gains in reducing medication errors.
If you or someone you love have been the victim of a prescription error or medication error, order our free book to educate yourself on your rights. You can also contact our experienced attorneys at 1-888-526-7616 for a free, no obligation, case review.