Barcode system to cut errors

Last updated 12:00 08/08/2014

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The anaesthetists at Palmerston North Hospital are going hi-tech with a new barcode scanning system as part of MidCentral District Health Board's move to a paperless system.

The SAFERsleep system, which is where medication is delivered in barcoded syringes and scanned into the system, will provide anaesthetists with visual and audio confirmation of what drug is being used before it is administered.

DHB medical head anaesthetist Dr Alberto Ramirez, who is co-ordinating the project, said it would "improve the quality of care" for patients with better quality and accuracy of records and also reduce the number of errors with drugs.

The SAFERsleep system had been found to reduce the incidence of drug error by 35 per cent, he said.

SAFERsleep is a record-keeping system that can be used from the pre-operative clinic through to the Post Anaesthetic Care Unit (PACU). It is a way of recording vital signs, what types of drugs were administered during an operation, and any complications that may have arisen.

There will be a touchscreen computer in each operating theatre as well as tablets, which can be taken to pre-operative bedside assessments.

The aim was to create a paperless system by Christmas, a DHB spokesman said. The new system will be compatible with newer programmes such as the Clinical Portal, including the new Maternity Clinical Information System, which is set to be launched this month.

Eventually it will also be linked to a wider national database where information can be shared among other DHBs with more ease as more hospitals take up the system.

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- Manawatu Standard

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