Tuesday, January 30, 2018
This Has To Be A Real Step Forward And May Even Save A Few Lives!
This appeared last week:
By Justin Hendry on Jan 22, 2018 6:00AM
ACT Health has embarked on a clinical systems transformation that will see patients electronically cross-referenced with pathology orders and medication at their bedside in an effort to eliminate errors at the point of care.
The territory's health directorate has completely overhauled how it interacts with patients to banish the paper-based records and processes that are the traditional causes of mixed up blood samples and medications in hospitals.
Despite having made a significant effort to strengthen these processes in recent years, ACT Health wasn't getting the reduction in avoidable errors it wanted.
So it starting looking at electronic tools to eliminate transcription mistakes.
Chief information officer Peter O'Halloran and team decided to take the bold step of equipping Health's electronic record systems with identification standards.
Patient wristbands and staff ID cards were upgraded to include GS1 compliant barcodes, as were clinical note labels and specimen labels.
It required modifications to eight separate IT systems provided by different vendors to get them to accept the GS1 barcodes.
Now, when a clinician takes a blood sample, they are required scan both their own and the patient's barcodes at the outset, before the specimen label can be scanned and printed. A computer on wheels kitted out with the barcode scanners is used by the patient's bedside.
It means a pathology specimen label can only be printed in the presence of the patient, reducing the risk that the label will be incorrect or misapplied.
"Electronic ordering and collection has eliminated paper order readability and transcription incidents," O'Halloran said.
While hardly earthshattering it is these sort of initiatives that incrementally improve the outcomes provided by the health system and overall can make hospitals safer places to the cared for within.
More of this sort of initiatives and less crusading against the fax machine makes pretty good sense to me – not that we should not be able to both walk and chew gum!
Posted by Dr David G More MB PhD at Tuesday, January 30, 2018