Tracy Hospital Implements Bar Code System, Laptops To Improve Safety
Sutter Tracy Community Hospital in Tracy last week implemented a medication bar code system to reduce drug errors as part of a $50 million patient safety initiative that Sutter Health Network announced last month, the Stockton Record reports. The 79-bed Sutter Tracy has purchased 31 carts equipped with wireless laptop computers and bar code software, according to Rose Norwood, a registered nurse and the hospital's director of patient care services. Before dispensing medication, a nurse or therapist uses a handheld device to scan the bar codes on his or her badge, the patient's wristband and the medication. If the system, which contains patient data, detects a potential error, it will alert the nurse and supply other information that could prevent a mistake. The hospital also affixes bar codes to individual drug doses.
St. Joseph's Medical Center in Stockton earlier this year implemented a fingerprint-based automated drug dispensing system, which allows nurses or other authorized staff to access only the specific drug prescribed for the patient. Dameron Hospital in Stockton, Lodi Memorial Hospital, St. Dominic's Hospital in Manteca, San Joaquin General Hospital in French Camp and Doctors Hospital of Manteca in Manteca do not have bar code systems but are looking into the technology (Goldeen, Stockton Record, 9/22).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.