OVMC Finds Success With Bedside Medication Verification Technology

Friday, June 18, 2010

CONTACT: Shayna Varner 304-234-8135 or jzatezalo@ovrh.org

OVMC Finds Success With Bedside Medication Verification Technology

WHEELING, W.Va. – Earlier this month, Ohio Valley Medical Center announced the implementation of Bedside Medication Verification (BMV), an electronic bar code scanning identification system for medications, in all hospital nursing units to provide quality patient care and efficient medicine management.  After using the verification system for just three weeks, the medicine administration technology has already proven its worth.

"It's amazing how sensitive the BMV equipment is," said Patsy George, RN and director of nursing at OVMC. "With one scan, we can access critical patient information and monitor a patient's medication allergies, check medication order and proper dose instructions as well as the medication's scheduled administration time. If we're even a few minutes early on medicine distribution, the BMV technology alerts the nurse with an on-screen alarm."

The new technology enhances safe medication administration through the "five rights" of medication management: right patient, right medication, right dosage, right route, and right time. During the medication administration process, caregivers scan bar codes on patient wristbands to provide a positive patient identification that allows the caregiver to view the proper medications for that particular patient.

Through BMV technology, caregivers are able to view critical patient information including the medication's order and dose instructions, a medication's scheduled administration, and any known patient medication allergies. This process increases accuracy and efficiency when administering medications, providing caregivers faster and easier access to critical information to manage patient care.

In a nationwide study by the Institute of Medicine estimates medication errors are responsible for 7,000 patients and injure at least 1.5 million a year, with nearly one-third of those errors occurring in hospitals. On a national average, a hospitalized patient is subject to one medication mistake a day. The use of bar code technology to confirm patient identity and medication orders has been shown to reduce medication errors by nearly 70 percent.

"With the implementation of bedside medication verification technology hospital-wide, we are working toward preventing accidents by implementing risk-reducing safety measures and staying abreast with the latest safety standards," said Jan Jennings, OVMC's interim president and CEO. "This technology has allowed us to engage in the highest quality of care and ensure our patients are receiving the best possible care at OVMC.\"

Ohio Valley Medical Center, located in Wheeling West Virginia, and East Ohio Regional Hospital, located in Martins Ferry Ohio, are a 340 bed combined organization providing quality primary and tertiary healthcare to the Ohio Valley.
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