Medication Bar Coding: To Scan or Not to Scan?

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Practical steps for implementing a medication verification system using bar coding are provided. The authors describe the process that a two-hospital system embarked upon to implement a bedside medication verification system. Building blocks of the system are described that made the project successful and met the Patient Safety Goals of the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations. The authors identify the "pitfalls" organizations need to be prepared to handle and quantify financial and safety results achieved with this project.

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