Medication route and the right time prior to

administration is one critical responsibility of nursing staff within the
hospital setting. If medications are not carefully administered, patient safety
can be compromised. The increase of medication errors has facilitated the
development of medication administration software. Advanced technological
capacities, such as bar-coding, reduces medication errors and increases patient
safety.  When a barcode is scanned, the
medication is identified, and dosing errors can be recognized. Research studies
suggest that healthcare technology provided many benefits including maximizing
patient safety.  A summary of these findings
will be discussed in my research below.


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the implementation of bar coding patient medications change the amount of
errors in hospitalized adults?  Without a
barcode, the probability of medication errors increases because of human error.
Due to the prevalence of medication errors, studies have been performed which
prompted the introduction of bar coding software. Studies have shown that
bar-coding has become essential, but nurses must continue to review and verify
medications by using the five rights. These include the right patient, drug,
dose, route and the right time prior to administration.  The implementation of technology based
medication administration has created an additional validation measure that
nurses should actively utilize.  The
purpose of this study is to support that the implementation of bar coding will
reduce medication errors within the hospital setting.





hospitalized adults who have had their medication scanned by a nurse by using
the bar-code system before administration at a lower risk for medication errors
opposed to hospitalized adults who did not have their medications scanned?  Medication errors have become one of the
causes of death in some patients and through research and evidence we see that
this has affected the level of care and patient satisfaction in many hospitals.
According to Gann(2015) “Death due to medication errors became the eighth
leading cause of mortality in the United States” (p.60) Because of this problem
healthcare technologies have made changes and incorporated bar codes on
medication to decrease errors and make it safe. Having this technology for
medications will secure that patient’s medication will be correctly
administrated compared to when this technology did not exist. Poon et al.,
(2010),  states that ” the use of
bar-code eMAR substantially reduced the rate of errors in order transcription
and in medication administration as well as potential adverse drug events.”(p.698)


The database used to
research the evidence was: EBSCO HOST, Health Source: nursing/ Academic Edition.
The search terms used were bar code, medication, errors, nursing




implementation of bar coding medications has reduced the number of errors.
According research studies healthcare technology has introduced a system that is
helping with the problem of medication errors. Reducing the amount of
medication errors within hospitals will  increase in the safety of our patients. Fowler,
Sohler, & Zarillo (2009) state that, “Using a bar-coded administration
system provides a safe mechanism for delivering medication throughout the
entire process, from medication ordering to patient consumption.”(p.109) In one
study done by Sakushima, Umeki, Endoh, Ito, & Nasuhara resulted in a total
of 2867 errors found in a university hospital in which they electronically
reported wrong drug administration, but after the implantation of bar coding it
significantly decreased. ( 2015). Bar-coding has becoming an important
technological tool in the healthcare system as this new system came about so
did the need for training and practice come with it. This new implementation
has brought positive results, but with that comes the hard work to start
implementing this in all hospitals which did take some time and effort. As we
know when something new is brought into place in a work place it takes time to
adapt and learn how to correctly use a tool that will be beneficial to the work
area. “A change in any medication administration system is a multidisciplinary
process that requires members of the health care team to make adjustments and
thoughtfully plan for successful implementation.” (Fowler, Sohler,& Zarillo,
2009, p. 108). Literature reviewed indicates that using barcode medication administration
greatly decreases errors in medication administration. “Veterans Affairs
medical center reviewed medication error reduction at 1 and 5 years post bar
coding medication administration implementation and reported medication error
reduction of 23% and 66% at 1 year and 5 years.” (Coye, Heinen, 2005).


Practice Recommendations

my research there are three practice recommendations. The first one is from the
journal article titled “Time Trend of
injection drug errors before and after implementation of bar-coded verification
system”. In this study they reported medication errors before and after the
use of bar coded medication and detected 2867 errors related to injected drugs
in a university hospital. This should that the implementation of a bar coded
system is effective for preventing and decreasing the amount of errors in a
hospital. “Health care information technology can play an important role in the
prevention of medical errors caused by human factors. “Recently, the bar code
has become a useful tool for patient management, especially in terms of medical
safety, throughthe use of bar code medication administration at hospitals.” (Sakushima,
Umeki, Endoh, Ito, & Nasuhara, 2015, p.268). The second recommendation, was
done by Paoletti, et al., in where they used a direct observation technique in
which two different nursing units participated, a 20-bed cardiac unit, a 36-bed
medical surgical unit. It concluded that “A 54% reduction of medication
administration errors was observed following implementation of
multidisciplinary, collaborative approach to medication safety.” ( Paoletti et
al., 2007, p. 536). I see through this study that using a barcode system does
have a major impact in a hospital setting and will not only benefit the
patients but the nurses. The third and last recommendation comes from a
research titled “Bar-code Technology for
Medication Administration: Medication Errors and Nurse Satisfaction” in
this article the authors find research from other studies that show how bar
code mediation has helped hospitals decrease the amount of medication errors.
In one report it concluded that it was another useful tool to use beside the
five rights. Fowler, Sohler & Zarillo state that “Point of care
administration of medication with bar-coded scanning allows verification of the
five rights of medication administration( Sakowski et al., 2005)


conclusion, there are many errors that occur in hospital, but medication
administration is one of the errors that can be avoided by using more than just
our own eyes but by using technology together. The research from my evidence
has shown that using a bar-coding medication administration system has improved
death rates and the quality and safety of the patients in hospitals. Technology
within healthcare has become imperative to daily operations within the healthcar.