MESSAGE OF THE DAY:
Since 2008, St. James Mercy Hospital in New York has been using a high-tech system to makes sure its patients get the right medicine, at the right time, in the right dosage. "Barcode Medication Verification"—or BMV—starts working when patients get admitted through the hospital’s registration area or emergency department and they receive a bracelet imprinted with a unique barcode. When the physician orders any needed medications, the orders go electronically to the pharmacy. The pharmacist fills the orders, and double checks for any allergies. Each medication has its own unique barcode, specific to that medicine and strength. The nurse or respiratory therapist wheels the BMV cart with the medications to the patient at bedside, scans the bracelet, and scans each medication. If anything doesn’t match—patient name, medication name, dose or time—an alert will immediately come up on the screen so that corrections can be made before the medication is given to the patient.