Most of the time, medicine is helpful. It relieves aches and pains, and fights infections. However, if certain drugs interact, it can result in dangerous side effects.
What if you could predict an unwanted interaction, before it happens? Flowers Hospital is doing just that, with a new electronic medication system.
"It's a very big safety initiative for us in terms of making sure our patients receive that safe quality of care,” said Dan Cumbie, Chief of Nursing Officer at Flowers Hospital.
Each patient's wristband has a barcode. By scanning the barcode, nurses can see their charts stat. Also, doctors prescribe meds, through a fingerprint-sensitive system. Once the doctor gets the medication, the nurse visits the patient’s room, and scans their wristband.
“That does a number of things. Number one, it checks to make sure it’s the right medication, the right dose, and the right route, being given to the right patient,” explained Cumbie.
It will also diagnose red flags.
"The type of interaction, the severity of interaction, and also provides information to help us, clinically, on how to handle those interactions whenever we call the physician back and let them know,” explained Lance Hagler, Clinical Coordinator and Assistant Director Pharmacist at Flowers Hospital.
The program will save patients from drug duplication, overdoses, and it keeps track of their records more efficiently.
Hagler said, “Patients are taking so many medications now, that it's hard for everyone to keep up.”
“We want to make sure that they understand what their side effects are, and also, why they're taking the medication and how important it is that they take it as it's prescribed by the physician,” said Cumbie.
Flowers Hospital has not done away with paper completely, but it is one step closer to curing medical errors.
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