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How Technology is Changing the Patient Safety Landscape

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					          How Technology is Changing the Patient Safety Landscape
Everything a hospital does is ideally targeted toward keeping patients safe. With safety such a major concern, it
makes sense that technology would be developed and adapted to target this important area. One of the major
uses of new technology is in the area of bar coded wrist bands. Thanks to scanners and database technology, a
patient’s safety concerns and health needs can easily be recorded and retrieved through the use of these simple
accessories.

Data just a Scan Away

Several hospitals have already introduced bar coded wrist bands in their daily rounds. Many more are in the
process of switching to such a system or plan to over the next few years. Under this system, each patient is
assigned a bar code, which is printed on the bracelet they get at check-in. Nurses can easily scan the code to find
all relevant patient data stored, which includes orders, restraint procedures, medication notes, and more. This
system eliminates the need for paper by keeping medical records digital. That allows for more consistency in
records, and makes it easier to retrieve the data. With computers increasing in speed and visual presentation,
more data can now be retrieved than ever before.

Preventing Medication Errors

Among other uses, hospital bar coded wrist bands can help prevent medication errors. Incorrectly medicating
patients costs an estimated one billion dollars per year, and results in approximately 7,000 deaths throughout the
United States. With bar code technology, those numbers can be greatly reduced. A simple scan of the bar code will
raise any flags about allergies or doses received previously during the day. By making the process simple to
perform but accurately kept through database technology, the possibility of human error becomes greatly
reduced. This in turn cuts down on one of the most dangerous pitfalls that a typical patient might face when
hospitalized.

Hospitals are making significant technological advances in all fields of patient care and safety, but sometimes it is
the simple technologies that are the most effective. Using wrist bands with bar codes on them ensures uniformity
in patient records, convenience in checking on important alerts, and a drastic reduction in the possibility of human
error. The simplicity of the technology also makes it very cost-effective, and many hospitals are adopting this
system as a result.

				
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Description: Everything a hospital does is ideally targeted toward keeping patients safe. With safety such a major concern, it makes sense that technology would be developed and adapted to target this important area. One of the major uses of new technology is in the area of bar coded wrist bands. Thanks to scanners and database technology, a patient’s safety concerns and health needs can easily be recorded and retrieved through the use of these simple accessories.