Release Date: 01-30-2006 Click here for a larger view
(Honesdale, January 25, 2006)…Don’t be surprised if you start seeing more “bar-coding” activity at Wayne Memorial Hospital. It’s for increased patient safety. The Hospital just received a half-million dollars in grants to fund the first year of a multi-year project designed to reduce medication errors.
Specifically, Blue Cross of NEPA and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HRSA) have given the Hospital $300,000 and $200,000 respectively to implement a new approach, a new pharmacy system and new technology—including bar-coding and scanning— for dispensing and administering medicine to patients. Once in place, these changes will be used to reduce medication errors during the drug administration process, where 38% of medication errors occur according to industry reports.
“While Wayne Memorial already has a good record in this arena, medication errors at hospitals are a national problem,” says David Hoff, WMH Chief Executive Officer. “Most of them—the wrong medicine given, the wrong dose, the wrong time of administration—are due to human error, such as misreading a handwritten entry in a patient’s record. These grants will help us, among other things, automate medication dispensing and thereby cut down the risk of human error.”
The Institute of Medicine has reported that medical errors account for 44,000 to 98,000 deaths each year, making medical errors the eighth leading cause of death in the U.S. According to former Secretary of Health and Human S