ED's Medication Errors Drop after Bar-Coding Implementation

December 1, 2013 | Evaluations & Guidance


The use of a bar-coded medication administration (BCMA) system in an academic, tertiary care medical center ED was associated with a more than 80% reduction in medication administration error rates, reports a study published in the August 2013 issue of Academic Emergency Medicine. The BCMA system was deployed in the ED as part of a facility-wide electronic medical record (EMR) implementation.

In the pre-BCMA workflow, a nurse would acknowledge medication orders submitted by physicians in a stand-alone EMR and then retrieve the medications from an automated dispensing cabinet (ADC), manually checking the order against a printout from the EMR. Manual verification of correct information was also done when administering...

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