Impact of a Barcode Medication Administration System on Patient Safety

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Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To determine the impact of barcode medication administration (BCMA) on the incidence of medication administration errors among patients in an onco-hematology day hospital and to identify the characteristics of medication errors in that setting.

SAMPLE & SETTING:

715 patients treated in the onco-hematology day unit at the Príncipe de Asturias University Hospital in Madrid, Spain.

METHODS & VARIABLES:

A between-groups, pre-/postintervention study was conducted. Administration errors observed in patients with solid tumors (intervention group) were compared with those in patients with hematologic cancer (control group) before and after the introduction of BCMA. Error incidence, type, and severity were assessed, as was length of stay for treatment.

RESULTS:

Use of a BCMA system reduced the incidence and severity of errors in medication administration in the onco-hematology day hospital.

IMPLICATIONS FOR NURSING:

BCMA is a useful technology to check the five rights of medication administration in the onco-hematology day hospital and could help nurses increase the time spent on direct patient care activities.

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