By Jeff Fountaine, director of healthcare, Honeywell Scanning & Mobility
Automating medication administration processes continues to be a key factor in achieving Meaningful Use Stage 2. The core measure requires more than 10 percent of all medication orders be tracked using the eMAR, or electronic medication administration record, and an automated technology.
While the measure does not specifically call out bar coding technologies as a means to automate, most hospitals have and are undertaking projects to implement bar code technologies from the pharmacy to the patient floor and, finally, the point of care. Bar codes allow the hospital to reconcile the medication order being filled in the pharmacy, being loaded into automated medication cabinets on patient floors and at the patient’s bedside where nurses administer.
This change to the medication administration workflow is nothing new to hospitals, caregivers and solution providers. Prior to Meaningful Use Stage 2 being defined and including this measure, hospitals were undertaking projects to implement bar coding technology at the point of care to enhance patient safety. These early projects defined the “Five Rights,” which were included in the Meaningful Use measure.
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