Today was the first full day of unSUMMIT activity and I found myself picking up quite a bit of useful information. I didnâ€™t attend every session, but managed to makeÂ the most of the ones I did. Even though the conference is billed as bedside barcoding I found that many of the presentationsÂ went beyond barcoding to include clinical decision support, techniques for education, troubleshooting tips and tips on how to best create a multi-disciplinary team for project planning and implementation.Â
Dennis Tribbleâ€™s presentation on â€œAlternatives to Barcoding: RFID and RTLSâ€ was very interesting. For those of you that donâ€™t already know, RFID stands for Radio-frequency identification and RTLS for Real Time Location System.
Tribble did a good job of explaining the basic concepts behind RFID. He also made a good case for the use of RFID alone or in combination with current bar coding technology to improve safety and improve medication tracking in healthcare systems. He used plenty of examples to illustrate his point and help everyone understand why we need to take this technology seriously. The amount of information that can be embedded in RFID tags alone makes them worthwhile in my opinion. Unfortunately the high cost ofÂ RFID tagsÂ remains a deterrent to their widespread implementation.
Ronald Schneider spent some time talking about â€œVA: 10 Years of Innovation with Barcode Medication Administration.â€ One thing is certain, the VA takes BCMA/BPOC seriously and has developed various systems for automatically collecting bad barcode information, tracking and submitting that information to the FDA, testing hardware, software and vendor wristbands. If they havenâ€™t already, they should make this information available to the general public, i.e. all healthcare systems.
One other takeaway from Schneiderâ€™s presentation was the amazing effort the VA has put into creating a single, well integrated database in which all this information is housed.Â The data is stored in a centralized repository where it is readily accessible for viewing and reporting via a simple web interface. It’s refreshing to see someone developing a robust data collection system instead of creating data silos that no one can get into.
Dennis Hoover from Yakima Memorial Hospital in Yakima, Washington covered the use of various metrics to monitor barcoding and how to utilize this information to make improvements. I spent a little time at Yakima Memorial a couple of years ago and can say that Dennis has done an incredible job with their BPOC. I tried to use much of his philosophy when we built our system and began rolling it out. His use of â€œnurse championsâ€ to continuously monitor usage, educate nursing and improve the system has proven effective.
In addition Yakima has done a good job of integrating BCMA/BPOC into not only their acute care facility, but many of their ambulatory and long term care areas as well. Not many facilities can boast as much because many systems stop at the acute care boundary.
I rounded out the day by spending some time learning about education from a tandem, Carol Bair and Randy Adams, out of Midland Memorial Hospital andÂ listening toÂ some outcome data from Leah Wright from Jefferson Regional Medical Center. Leah didnâ€™t seem too fond of pharmacy, but I wonâ€™t hold it against her. We can be a rough bunch to deal with at times.
In addition to the presentations above I also took in the Poster Gallery and sat in on a couple of the â€œVendor Theatersâ€ presented by Motorola and Code Corporation. The information presented by the vendors wasnâ€™t anything I havenâ€™t heard before, but it was interesting nonetheless. Our facility uses Code Corp scanners both in the pharmacy and up on the nursing units for BCMA. And Motorola presented information on some nifty mobile devices.