New Castle News

September 29, 2012

New electronic system helps ensure medication accuracy at Jameson

Lugene Hudson
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — Patient safety is of utmost concern at Jameson Hospital.

Making sure the proper medications are administered to the right person is crucial.

With a new electronic scanning system called Medication Administration Check or MAK, chances of errors occurring are greatly eliminated.

And both patients and family members can also feel more at ease.

Antoinette Reino and Diana Cupec, patient care managers, started developing the program in November and December of last year and began a pilot program in July. By mid-September, all in-patients departments except for the psychiatric unit, were using MAK.

“This is a product of Siemens and we developed the polices and procedures to adapt to Jameson,” Reino explained, adding that using computers and scanners is becoming a standard of care in all hospitals.

Previously, all tracking was done on paper, which was time consuming and created a better chance of mistakes occurring.

The electronic system is a work station on wheels — a computer on a cart allows for scanning the armband that all patients receive upon admission.

“After getting an assignment, a nurse chooses the patient, goes to the room, scans the medications and prior to giving those meds, scans the patient’s ID wristband,” Cupec said. “It’s all a matter of the right meds going to the right patient.”

Reino and Cupec agree that no system is 100 percent foolproof but believe that MAK will reduce a higher percentage of errors from happening.

All nurses received training with the system, but there is still a human element involved so if a nurse has difficulties with scanning, further education can be provided, Reino explained.

If a specific medication doesn’t match the patient who is to receive it, a red X appears on the computer screen and the issue must be corrected before proceeding further, she added.

“During the training periods, the nurses used the computers but had to return to the paper method temporarily, and said that was like coming from the Jetsons to the Flintstones.”

The MAK system is also beneficial because it allows nurses to see real-time reports and provide immediate feedback, Reino acknowledged.

After a doctor orders a medication, the hospital pharmacy enters that order, which is then verified by a nurse that it’s correct, she said.

Now, in essence, paper records for recording medications are a thing of the past.

“Jameson is moving forward in promoting patient safety,” Reino said. “MAK is one more step at making sure that is utmost in mind.”

(Email: lhudson@ncnewsonline.com.)