Release Date: 07-25-2006 Click here for a larger view
(Honesdale, July 25, 2006)…Wayne Memorial’s patient safety efforts have received another significant boost from the federal government. The Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA, part of US Health & Human Services Department) has awarded the Hospital a Rural Health Care Outreach grant of $375,000 over three years for its IMAPS project.
IMAPS—or Improving Medication and Patient Safety—is a $2.5 million project that involves emerging technologies, telehealth and extraordinary communication between pharmacists and healthcare providers to ensure against medication errors. Specifically, IMAPS entails setting up a secured Internet web portal for Wayne Memorial Hospital (WMH) and physician/practitioners to share vital patient medication information. IMAPS will also use advanced barcoding/labeling technology to reconcile patient identities with medications ordered for them before, during and after their discharge; in other words, to make sure the patient getting the medication is the right patient receiving the right dose at the right time.
“Wayne Memorial has a statistically low record of medication errors compared to other hospitals,” states WMH Chief Pharmacist Len O’Hara, “but medication errors are a national problem.” And most are due to human error. According to a report released July 21 by the Institute of Medicine, at least 1.5 million Americans are sickened, injured or killed each year by avoidable errors in prescribing, dispensing and taking medications.
“This grant and the technology it’s supporting at Wayne Memorial will certainly help us keep our numbers low and hopefully bring them down even more,” adds O’Hara, pictured here with Pharmacy staffer Julie Alvarez.