Workarounds with Barcode Medication Administration Systems

March 8, 2024 | Health System Risk Management


​​​​​​​​Barcode medication administration (BCMA) systems are important tools for preventing medication errors. However, scanning or labeling errors may lead staff to develop workarounds, which can compromise patient safety and have serious or even deadly consequences.

Staff may employ workarounds when a barcode cannot be scanned or is difficult to scan; when the barcode is missing, hidden, or damaged; or when a medication has not yet been added to the system.

BCMA workarounds may indicate insufficient staff knowledge and training or that the **devices and systems are not configured to support safe clinical workflow. ...

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