From a recent article in August 2012 issue of Pharmacy Practice News:
Within the first month of implementation [of a bar-code medication preparation (BCMP) system], 85% of all IV drugs in the childrenâ€™s hospital IV room were covered by the BCMP system, which does the following: â€œprintsâ€ labels to a touchscreen computer from which a technician can pick which dose he or she wants to prepare; verifies via bar-code technology that the correct medication and diluent were chosen, provides instructions to technicians about how make the preparation, allows technicians to take pictures of the preparation process and automatically time stamps each step in that process for future record keeping and management reporting.
The unique bar code that is assigned to each product then can be used to track the medication to the nursing unit, or whatever end location has been provided, with a location bar code.
Since the implementation of the BCMP IV system, which both Drs. Fortier and Maughan describe as a â€œbest practice for the near future,â€ MUSC staff have seen â€œeight to 10 medications a day that could have been an error [with] the old system,â€ according to Dr. Maughan. â€œThat represents 1.3% to 3% of the total number of doses dispensed.â€
It’s no secret that I think the IV room is an area that pharmacy has yet to address properly when it comes to automation and technology. We simple havenâ€™t developed a product that will change the way pharmacy compounds IVâ€™s. I have some thoughts on that, but will keep them offline for now. If you’re interested in talking about the future of IV room practice feel free to drop me a line. Sorry, I digress.