KCH Begins Using Electronic Bedside Medication Verification System
Febuary 9, 2007
Kishwaukee Community Hospital recently began using a new system for improving patient safety during distribution of medication to patients. The system, Bedside Medication Verification, (BMV), utilizes bar codes on patient ID bands and on medications. It provides a system of double checks that alert caregivers to things such as high risk medications or potential administration errors. The information obtained during the use of the scanner is stored in a computerized Medication Administration Record, which becomes part of a patient’s medical record. This allows physicians to view every dosage a patient has received electronically, from their office, home or even their laptop computer in the car. Physician reaction to the addition of this new technology has been positive. “I am very happy to see KCH begin using this verification system, I’ve had the opportunity to use it at another hospital and saw the great impact it has on patient care,” said Dr. Michael J. Monfils, general surgeon.
In hospitals throughout the nation, the BMV system has been shown to reduce medication administration errors by up to 50 percent, greatly increasing patient safety. BMV automatically alerts healthcare professionals of allergies or drug interactions prior to medication administration. Kishwaukee Community Hospital is a leader in this innovative technology, with fewer than five percent of hospitals nationwide utilizing the system. “The use of BMV is a giant step forward with the commitment of human and technological resources to improve the safety of medication use as recommended by the Institute of Medicine,” said Ron Lubcke, Director of Pharmacy.
The system is currently being used on the obstetrics and special care units and is scheduled to be rolled out in the other inpatient areas of the hospital later this month. “Initial patient reaction to the system has been very positive,” said Heidi Lindhorst, MS, RNC, Director of Obstetrics and a key member of the implementation team. “Patients like that medication administration is part of a computerized medical record. They also like having their ID band and medication scanned as another safeguard in place for them while hospitalized at Kishwaukee Community Hospital.”
Tammy Matthews, RN, BSN, Clinical Development Coordinator for the Special Care Unit, played a key role in developing the processes and staff training for the new system. She said BMV is not only a huge advancement in patient medication safety, it eliminates several paper and cross-checking steps, giving nurses more time for bedside care.
Patients also benefit because the system allows doctors to be better informed. “If a patient’s condition deteriorates the doctor can access the system and view every dosage their patient has received. With this knowledge at their fingertips, the physician can make quicker and more informed decisions about the patient’s care.” Matthews said.