Aspirus Wausau Hospital is stated to have rolled out Epic systems’ Mobile Meds to all the hospital units where nurses may need to administer medications. Mobile Meds are noted to be a wireless bedside bar-code medication administration system. This tool may be used by nurses and pharmacists to minimize errors during the administration of medications.
The Institute of Medicine, branch of the National Academies, has stated that medication errors may possibly be a major reason for injury and sickness in the US.
Joni Hahn, RN, BSN, the nursing lead for the implementation of Mobile Meds in the hospital, says that, “When you are dealing with medications there are obvious risks if something is done incorrectly, and our main focus is always the safety of our patients. Implementing this system allows us to take patient safety to another level because it provides an immediate crosscheck at the patient’s bedside for everything we do when administering medications.”
Aspirus Pharmacy was supposedly the first to implement Mobile Meds. For this purpose, they are stated to have deployed a complete automatic system that uses bar-codes for packaging and labeling medications.
Nurses in the units where Aspirus supposedly distributed Mobile Meds, may scan these bar-codes on the medications using a hand-held scanner. This is noted to make the identification of dosages and medications easier. Moreover, nurses may also verify the five rights of medications by scanning the bar-codes on a patient’s wristband. These rights apparently include right patient, accurate medication, proper dose, correct route and appropriate time.
For greater safety while using Mobile Meds, these nurses may also need to scan their own name badges before they scan a patient’s wristband. This, in turn, may aid pharmacies and unit supervisors to identify the person who administered the medications. The bar-codes are believed to reveal the exact medications (along with its doses) provided to a particular patient. Therefore it is possible to run reports of these details.
Bobbi McGhee, RN, Nursing Supervisor of Intermediate Care, which was the pilot unit for Mobile Meds, stated that, “All the nurses have openly accepted this because the safety of the patient comes first. Mobile Meds helps nurses double-check the medications and provides them with easy access to all vital patient information at their fingertips. This helps ensure the patient receives the safest, best possible care.”
All the nurses were noted to have undergone training to use this portable and wireless bar-code medication administration system. Besides other medication information, Mobile Meds are also believed to help view key lab results, dosage calculation checks and drug allergy checks and alerts.