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Nurs Econ. 2008 May-Jun;26(3):207-10.

Medication administration: the implementation process of bar-coding for medication administration to enhance medication safety.

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  • 1New York Presbyterian Hospital, New York, NY, USA.


Approximately 1.5 million Americans are injured each year because of medication errors. In hospitals alone medication errors cost the health system well over $3.5 billion per year. Nurses are at the frontline of medication administration accountability. A Bar Code Medication Administration application was implemented at a 300-bed community hospital. The creation of the process was spearheaded by a taskforce consisting of staff nurses, nursing and pharmacy administrators, and an IT representative. This group planned the implementation process, which included changes to medication policies and procedures, downtime procedures, workflow designs, planning for nursing training, and changes to medication delivery. The results from the pilot indicated that the bar-cod technology reduced medication errors by 80%.

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