Barcode scanning technology continues to improve patient safety.

Am J Health Syst Pharm (2009;66 1110-1115): “A total of 1465 medication administrations were observed (775 preimplementation and 690 postimplementation) for 92 patients (45 preimplementation and 47 postimplementation). The medication error rate was reduced by 56% after the implementation of BCMA (19.7% versus 8.7% , p < 0.001). This benefit was related to a reduction associated with errors of wrong administration time. Wrong administration time errors decreased from 18.8% during preimplementation to 7.5% postimplementation (p < 0.001). There were no significant differences in other error types. Conclusion. The implementation of BCMA significantly reduced the number of wrong administration time errors in an adult medical ICU.” – I’ve touched on this before. In a pre-barcode era mistakes at the bedside weren’t caught and patients suffered the consequences. Barcoded medication administration has tremendous potential. I am hopeful that hospitals will continue to develop its potential in this age of technology, and in doing so drive medication administration errors to zero.